Hockey greats Sheikh, Islahuddin back PHL
KARACHI: Pakistan’s hockey greats, who led the team to the pinnacle of the sport’s glory, believe that the proposed Pakistan Hockey League (PHL) can play a vital role in rekindling youngsters’ interest in the national game.
Olympian Islahuddin Siddique, capped a total of 130 times, said the leagues around the world attract audiences due to their format.
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“The format of the league and sponsors is the main factor that compels fans to come to the venue and watch,” Islahuddin, who won the 1971 World Cup and finished runner-up in the 1975 and 1978 editions, told The Express Tribune.
The former captain added that participation of international players will also be a lucrative incentive for rekindling interest in hockey.
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Meanwhile, Olympian Shahnaz Sheikh fears the present critics of the Pakistan Hockey Federation may harm the first PHL.
He said the efforts of the federation were witnessed in the recently concluded U18 national championship where a large number of youngsters turned up to play competitively. “A hockey player gives everything if he is dedicated, as we saw in the U18 event.”