LAHORE       -     As many as six matches were decided in the 36th National Junior Hockey Championship, which got underway on Thursday here at the National Hockey Stadium.

In the first match of the day, KPK (A) beat Army (B) 1-0. From the KPK (A), the only goal was scored by Jibran. In the second match of the day, Punjab (A) thrashed Islamabad 5–0. Husnian Shaihd was emerged as top scorer from the winning side as he scored a quartet while the remaining one came from M Bilawal.

In the third match of the day, MPCL crushed AJK by a big margin of 17–0. From MPCL, Muhammad Anees, Abdul Rehman and Afraz hammered a hat-trick each while Arshad Liaqat, Shuaib Khan and Muhammad Abdullah banged in a brace each and Umair Sattar, Arbaz Ahmed and Ahtisham Aslam netted a goal apiece.

In the fourth match of the day, Army (A) thumped Punjab (B) 10–0. From Army(A), Shahid Ali slammed in four goals while Usama Irfan contributed a brace and M Umer, Muzamil Hussian and M Usman hit a goal each. In the fifth match of the day, Wapda thumped Punjab (D) 12-1, in the sixth match of the day, Port Qasim routed Balochistanby 6-2 while in the seventh and last match of the day, Sindh (B) crushed Gilgit-Baltistan 15-0.

Earlier, Punjab Minister for Sports, Youth Affairs and Tourism Rai Taimoor Khan Bhatti inaugurated the championship. Other notables present on the occasion were Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) President Brig (R) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar, Secretary Asif Bajwa, Chief Selector Manzoor Junior and other officials. Rai Taimoor was warmly received by the PHF officials upon reaching the National Hockey Stadium. He was also introduced with participating teams. PHF chief Khalid Sajjad Khokhar thanked the minister for extending valuable cooperation for the holding the event.

He said he is glad that the event is being organised after a gap of three years. “Definitely, the National Junior Hockey Championship is a good opportunity for young players, who must avail this opportunity and remove the flaws of their game.”

Bhatti said: “Hockey is our national game and we are aware of its importance. It is true that Pakistan is passing through a struggling period but we are quite confident that Pakistan will overcome its slump in hockey in near future.

 

We are planning to arrange interactive sessions of national hockey heroes with young boys at colleges and universities. These sessions will help a lot in inspiring young generation to play hockey.”

Bhatti said: “We are planning to introduce league system in hockey and the private and corporate sector will have key role in this event. The involvement of private and corporate sector in hockey league will help a lot in resolving financial issue of hockey players and federation as well.