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Dutch Club Arrives In Pakistan To Play Three-match Series

  • February 18, 2024

ISLAMABAD, (APP – UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 18th Feb, 2024) A top hockey club from the Netherlands arrived in Pakistan on Sunday to play a three-match friendly series with the Prime Minister’s Youth Talent Hunt team.

“It is a watershed moment indeed as the Dutch club Billy Ozendaal is the first international hockey club to visit Pakistan after 22 years to play hockey matches here,” the event organizer, Olympian Khawaja Muhammad Junaid told APP.

According to Junaid Orange and Black was the last European club that visited Pakistan in 2001.

“The series rolls into action with the first two matches hosted by the National Hockey Stadium, Lahore on Monday and Wednesday. The third match is scheduled to take place at the Naseer Bunda Hockey Stadium Islamabad on Friday (February 23),” Junaid said.

He said Khawaja Junaid Hockey academy had teamed up with Billy Ozendaal to strengthen the national sport of hockey in Pakistan following the requirements of modern times. “We aim to enhance the capabilities of our players and for that, we are committed to fostering a closer relationship and exchange of expertise between the two countries”, he added.

As part of the programme, our team, which is comprised of a highly talented bunch of players will also travel to the Netherlands in August, this year to play matches, added Junaid, who was part of Pakistan’s bronze medal-winning team at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.

He credited Chairman Higher education Commission Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Inspector General Punjab Police Dr. Usman Anwar, the Netherlands Embassy in Islamabad, Director General Pakistan sports board Shoaib Khoso, and Punjab Sports Board officials for playing significant roles in holding the series in a befitting manner.

He said the first match between the two teams would be dedicated to honour the martyrs of Punjab police. “The arrival of a top-notch European club in Pakistan after over two decades is a breath of fresh air for Pakistan hockey. While cricket matches of PSL are being played on one side, the visit of the club will contribute greatly to establishing a positive image of the country globally,” he reckoned.

He said with its foundation laid in 1935, the Billy Ozendaal club holds a special place among the well-established clubs in the Netherlands. Many of its players have represented the Netherlands at the international level. “It was the club’s tradition to tour Spain, Portugal, Australia, and South America during the cold season. However, this time they have agreed to visit Pakistan as a result of our efforts. We are also grateful to the Dutch Embassy in Islamabad for playing a key role in persuading club members and their families to come to Pakistan,” Junaid added.

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