President of Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), Brig (Retd) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar has said that talks with Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MCH) are underway and it is hoped Pakistan once again will start featuring in Azlan Shah Cup.
“We are in talks with the MCH. We’ve made solid progress and now they (MCH) are willing to invite us for the Azlan Shah Cup,” he told.
Pakistan, who had almost regularly been featuring in the Azlan Shah Cup since its inception in 1983 could not participate in the last three editions of the event as the organizers did not invite them.
Khokhar said that talks with the MCH were moving on quite positively and they had also agreed to send their junior team to Pakistan. “Their junior team is likely to visit Pakistan soon. And we hope the junior team’s visit will also pave way for their senior team’s visit,” he added.
The PHF president said that the federation had decided to motivate foreign teams to tour Pakistan. “I believe we need to ask them to visit us as this is the best way to revive hockey here,” he said.
Terming Oman national team’s recent visit to Pakistan a positive sign, he expressed the optimism that it would open the doors for world’s top outfits’ visit to the country.
He said the federation was also trying host Netherlands for a bilateral series. He said he had recently met with Dutch Ambassador to Pakistan Wouter Plomp and discussed a number of hockey related matters, including the exchange programme between the two countries. “He has shown very keen interest in Netherlands team’s visit to Pakistan and agreed to send recommendations to his country’s hockey authorities and the government for that.—APP