KARACHI: The planning for Pakistan’s first hockey League has been completed and the inaugural edition will be held in February next year, announced Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) on Sunday.
The PHF has also opened the applications and bids for the broadcasting rights of the league along with the title sponsor.
The first edition of Pakistan Hockey League (PHL) will feature six teams named on the cities of Pakistan including Islamabad, Peshawar, Quetta, Kashmir, Karachi and Lahore.
The League will be held in the format similar to Pakistan Super League (PSL). Around 30 international players will also become part of the league.
The rights of franchise structure, ticketing revenue and sponsor rights will be sold in light of the PSL format.
Companies that are interested in buying the rights will be able to submit applications from November 12. The franchises will also have to deposit $1,000 which will be non-refundable.
The inaugural edition of PHL is expected to be held in four different cities of Pakistan. Faisalabad, Gojra, Karachi and Lahore will host the event, but it all depends on the agreement of international federations to send their players to Pakistan.
The announcement came after Haier signed an MoU to become the title sponsor in all the domestic and international events till 2020. The agreement was signed on November 10 in Lahore.
On this occasion the secretary of Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) told The Express Tribune that, “The sponsorship will help the players in getting their dues clear and will also solve the financial issue in participating in the international events.”
He added that the team and the PHF has been facing financial crisis for a longer time of period now.
“Haier, which has been an active sponsor of cricket, has stepped up to help the national game. This will help us in executing the plan that has been pending due to financial issues and the first of them is PHL, which will now be held in February 2019,” he said.
The chairman of Peshawar Zalmi and the CEO of Haier, Javed Afridi, on this occasion said that, “Hockey is our national sport and we are recognised throughout the world because of it. In the past, Pakistan has won four World Cups, three Champions Trophy and are three-time Olympic Gold medallists. This is a wondrous feast for all of us as a nation.”
He added that Pakistan has enormous hockey talent and soon will climb the ranks again. “Haier Pakistan will sponsor the team and the PHF till 2020 and will remain the title sponsor for both of these entities. During this tenure, we will support them for their international events, home series and domestic events as well.”
The president of PHF, Khalid Sajjad Khokhar said, “Haier Pakistan has forwarded its support for the PHF and the national hockey team when they were in dire need. This is a step in the right direction and this will motivate youngsters to proudly participate in hockey as they will see a bright future ahead.”