ANISUDDIN KHAN

KARACHI - Ten teams having in their fold all the top players of the country will appear in the 59th edition of the National hockey championship which pushes off here tomorrow (Thursday) at the astro turfed Hockey Club of Pakistan (HCP).

A media briefing was held here Tuesday at the HCP in which details of the seventeen days long championship were given .Associate secretary of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) former Olympian Rana Mujahid and Khushbakht Shujaat, head of the PHF women’s wing, jointly talked to the media at the conference.

Rana Mujahid said the championship will be played on single league basis and each day three to four matches will be played according to the draw finalised.

Teams that will play in the championship are: Wapda, NBP, Pakistan Navy, PIA, SSG, HBL, Pakistan Army, Port Qasim, PAF and PHF Academy. Last two named teams qualified from the tray championship to play in the title round.

According to the format of the championship last two teams at the end of the league will be relegated to the tray category while the finalists of the tray championship get elevated to the title round.

Rana Mujahid in clear term announced that that there was age bar on players over the age of thirty years from participating in the championship. Any player found flouting the rule would be punished according to the code of conduct of the PHF.

The PHF however has made a wise exception to the rule for the players who have been invited by the PHF to attend national training camp or are in contention for selection in the national team.

Some of the top players who are already over thirty years but are expected to be selected for Pakistan team will be eligible to play for their teams in the championships. On the opening day four matches will be played when Port Qasim face PAF, NBP vie with Pakistan Navy, Wapda lock horns with SSG and PIA meet HBL.

In the meantime all preparation to host the event at the HCP has been completed. Farooq Khan Secretary KHA is the organising secretary of the championship.