KARACHI: The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has given the go-ahead to its players for participating in the second edition of the World Series Hockey (WSH) in India this year, according to a PHF official.
The WSH, despite its successful inaugural edition last year, remains unsanctioned by the International Hockey Federation (FIH).
Several Pakistan players including seasoned Shakeel Abbasi, Waseem Ahmed and Rehan Butt featured in the opening league and are contracted with the cash-strapped event for three years. However, they were reprimanded by the PHF for taking part in the ‘unauthorised’ event and consequently paid fine.
“The PHF has no issues over the players’ participation in the WSH,” PHF secretary Asif Bajwa told The Express Tribune. “The players who were contracted before March 31, 2012 can play as the league was declared illegal after that date.”
He clarified that the players had to face action last year because they went for the event without informing the federation.
The second edition of the league is expected to start within the next two months. It was earlier scheduled to start last December but was postponed later.
Meanwhile, former captain Rehan Butt said he was looking forward to the league.
“I’m relieved we will not face any disciplinary action this time,” said the experienced striker. “It’s a valuable tournament for the players, considering the standard of competition there.”
Published in The Express Tribune, January 14th, 2013.