PHF to take up matter of laying of turf at Sheikhupura stadium

Lahore—Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) will take up the matter of laying synthetic turf at Sheikhupura Hockey Stadium with Inter provincial ministry and the Punjab government.
“Work to install plastic surface at the stadium started way back in 2008 which has not yet been completed and hockey is badly suffering due to non availability of a modern ground,” said the Secretary, PHF, Shahbaz Ahmad Senior while talking to APP on Monday.
He said they will be sending the case to the Inter provincial ministry as well as the Punjab government to equip the ground with the plastic pitchy to provide a modern platform to youth to play hockey.
He said it is quite unfortunate that installation of the synthetic surface was not completed even after eight years and called for its completion in minimum time frame.
“Around 150 young players are still playing hockey at the grassy field which help in identifying new talent and if a modern ground with plastic turf is available more players will like to take up hockey as a sport which will help in broaden the base of the game,” he asserted.
PHF official said Sheikhupura is a nursery of hockey which produced a number of stalwarts of the game namely Saeed Anwar, Asad Malik, Ishtiaq Ahmad, Muhammad Ahklaq, Anjum Saeed, Naveed Alam,Imran Yousaf and Irfan Yousaf.
The former Pakistan captain and celebrated forward said PHF was striving had for the cause of hockey in the country and it was endeavouring to have more and more grounds across the country equipped with plastic surface.
“We are seeking government help in this regard to revive the game on strong lines to achieve our ultimate objective of regaining lost glory, “ he said.
Pakistan was once master of the game and now it is a pale shadow of its glittering past because of downfall of hockey in the country in past many years,” he said adding, PHF in a rare guard operation was in a process of taking various long term measures to put the game on the right track and it would also be seeking the assistance of the former greats of the game to help achieve this target.
He said it is not fair to expect overnight results from the present regime of the PHF which is sincerely working at the grass root level to revamp the game.
To a question, he said, work has been started to hold Pakistan Hockey League in a befitting manner in November this year.
“The league will be a game changer for hockey in Pakistan as it will open a new era of professional hockey creating opportunity for the home players to play alongside top hockey players of the world to lift the level of their game and by that the overall standard of Pakistan hockey will be improved, “ he said.—APP

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