Pakistan hockey will witness a defining moment when the World XI side of international stars will arrive in the country to play against the home team on January 19 and 21 in Karachi and Lahore respectively, PHF announced via a press release.
“The World XI includes players from the Olympic champions Argentina, world champions Australia and European champions Netherlands,” the press release stated.
“In addition, there are stars from Germany and New Zealand,” it said. “The three Argentines are young members of the current national team while Australian Grant Schubert has gold medals from all the big events: Olympics, World Cup and Commonwealth Games,” it added.
The press release further revealed that the touring squad will feature young talented Dutch players as well as Spaniards.
“Three Dutch players have Olympic as well as European championship medals. A fourth, the 19-year-old Turkstra, played in the 2016 Olympics.
“Likewise, two Spaniards have Olympic silver and European gold in their trophy cabinet. Phil Burrows is New Zealand’s all-time top field goal scorer. Germany’s Benni Wess is double Olympic gold medallist. The other German Justus Scharowsky is a World Cup winner,” the press release said.
Pakistani fans will be able to see the all-time highest goal-scorer Sohail Abbas in action after a long time, however, he will be playing for the World XI side against Pakistan. He will captain the World XI in the first game, while another player will lead the side in the second match.
“Pride of Pakistan Sohail Abbas, scorer of the highest number of goals in international hockey, will also play for the World XI.”
“A foreigner, however, will be the captain of the World XI in the second game,” he told APP on Friday.
PHF president retired Brig Khalid Sajjad Khokhar, meanwhile, said the event would be historic.
“It is going to be a history-making moment in Pakistan hockey as we will have a high-profile hockey event after a gap of many years”, he told APP on Friday.
“This will be a defining moment for the sport and we need regular international hockey events in order to revive our sagging fortunes.
“This World XI tour will help in inspiring the youth to take up hockey as a sport and to provide a rare opportunity to our spectators to watch stars of hockey in action in their own backyard,” he added.
“With the tour of World XI we will be able to enhance our capability and managerial qualities for hosting the PHL in a trend-setting way” he concluded