International hockey is coming to Pakistan after a long time. A star studded World XI with players from the leading hockey nations are coming to play two matches against Pakistan in Karachi and Lahore on January 19 and 21 respectively.
In a remarkable gesture, Pakistan Hockey Federation has arranged a Hall of Fame induction ceremony which will be held in Karachi.
Along with six Pakistani stalwarts, five foreign hockey greats will be inducted in the Hall of Fame.
Paul Litjens (Netherlands)
The most fearsome penalty corner striker of his time. He played 177 matches with the Dutch national team, scoring 268 goals, an international record he held from 1982 to 2004. Sohail Abbas broke his record. Member of Netherlands’ first ever World Cup winning team of 1973 and also when they first won the Champions Trophy in 1981 in Karachi. Top scorer at 1976 Olympics.
Floris Jan Bovelander (Netherlands)
Another phenomenal penalty corner expert from Holland. Top scorer at 1994 World Cup with nine goals when Netherlands defeated hosts Pakistan 3-1 in the final, scored two goals in the final. Also has Olympic gold (1996), World Cup Silver 1994.
Christain Blunck (Germany)
Born in Hamburg, Germany‘s major hockey centre, hockey was in his blood. Mother Greta Blunck was a German hockey star of 1950s and 1960s. The highlight of his long international career (1989-98) was the 1992 Olympics where Germany won the gold after 20 years. Blunck played a major role in that triumph — he was declared Player of the Tournament. He also captained Germany and has a silver medal from the 1990 World Cup in Lahore.
Juan Escarre (Spain)
The midfielder appeared in 256 Internationals. Played in three Olympics. Won silver at 1996 Olympics, World Cup silver in 1998. Captain of the European Nations Cup gold medal winning team in 2005 and also Captain of the Champions Trophy gold medal winning team in 2004 in Lahore.
Don Prior (Australia)
Australian is one of the most distinguished Umpires in the game of Hockey: He Umpired at Two Olympic Finals 1988 & 1996, and also the World Cup final of 1994 won by Pakistan. Also pioneered video & computer software for sports analysis including worldwide performance analysis system Sportscode first used by Australian hockey teams to conduct the first performance analyses that are commonplace today in elite sports. Also worked with the FIH in the preparation of the technology for the third umpire system. Inducted into Hockey Australia’s Hall of Fame in 2015.