LAHORE -  Former Holland hockey player Floris Jan Bovelander has denied any security threat in Pakistan and urged the world hockey community to come and play here and enjoy the hospitality of Pakistani people.

“Pakistan is completely a safe country and we enjoyed our trip a lot. For me, it should be like we could go by rickshaw and not by bus. We felt protected and we were completely safe here. It was wonderful tour for us as we had momentous moments and sweet memories here and we are keen to come here again,” he said.

“Hospitality of Pakistani people was really amazing as we had very warm welcome here. We appreciate the passion and love of hockey lovers, and I am sure if they continue to support this game along with media, Pakistan hockey will be on top once again,” the ex-Dutch player added.

Dutch legend Paul Litjen said: “It was very nice to be here and I liked Pakistan very much. Overall, we have very sweet memories here, which we’ll share with our countrymen and especially hockey players.”

Replying to a query regarding Pakistan hockey and its upcoming league, the Dutch legend said: “Pakistan Hockey Federation has been working hard to change the fortunes of the national game. I hope with their sincere and all-out efforts, Pakistan hockey will progress and start yielding fruits soon.

“Pakistan Hockey League is a very good step towards promotion of the game in Pakistan. It will not only help reviving the game here, but also provide Pakistani players chances to play alongside international players and improve their game by learning latest techniques and methods,” he added.

World Hockey XI captain Holland’s Roderick Weusthof has said that National Hockey Stadium is the biggest stadium of the world, so it is very lovely to be here and to play here. “Pakistan hockey team did a really good job today as it was really tough to beat them. They played very well and the ultimate result was drawn match.”

Complementing on Pakistan team, the World XI captain said: “The youngsters are very good and they are bound to excel and flourish. But what they really need is support of federation, fans and media. Just give them some time.

Replying to a query regarding any security issue here, he said: “We felt safe here and enjoyed the environment, love, support and hospitality of Pakistani people and we would love to come here again.

Pakistan hockey team captain Junaid Manzoor said that the boys played really well and succeeded in drawing the match against experienced World XI team, which is, for him, a victory of the youngsters.

“Playing alongside World XI players proved very beneficial for us as it helped us in learning a lot from them. It was, in fact, a rare opportunity for the youngsters to add to their confidence and technique,” he said.

“This World XI tour has proved very significant for Pakistan hockey as it will enhance the image of the country across the world. The tour also proved an ice breaking for us, as it will motivate the other foreign teams and players to come and play in Pakistan in near future,” he added.

 

 

AZHAR KHAN