LAHORE: National cricketers including the likes of Shahid Afridi, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan, and Fawad Alam have extended their support towards the newly-announced Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) franchise league The Max.
The first-ever franchise hockey league of the country, which was announced by the recently-removed president of PHF Khalid Sajjad Khokhar in a press conference on June 30, has received overwhelming support from the national cricketers, who took to Twitter to back the idea, while also terming it a ‘national duty’.
Former Pakistan captain and star all-rounder Afridi expressed his delight at the efforts being made to revitalise hockey through The Max.
“Great to see hockey’s revival with [The Max] league. We all need to commit and support our national game which has given us such glorious history!” Afridi tweeted.
— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) July 7, 2022
The ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup and ICC Champions Trophy-winning captain Sarfaraz Ahmed also backed The Max’s announcement and said in his tweet that the franchise league would play a pivotal role in reviving the national sport.
“It gives me much joy to see our National Sport now being commercialized [through] a franchise league [The Max]. It will help in reviving hockey & will add strength to make this sport more sustainable,” Sarfaraz tweeted.
It gives me much joy to see our National Sport now being commercialized thru a franchise league @themaxpk . It will help in reviving hockey & will add strength to make this sports more sustainable. Congratulations @PHFOfficial#TheMax #PHF #MeriNationalDuty
— Sarfaraz Ahmed (@SarfarazA_54) July 5, 2022
The vice-captain of the national Test cricket team, Mohammad Rizwan, on the other hand, claimed in his tweet that as a player, he believes it is his national duty to play his part in the development of the national game.
“I wish [Pakistan Hockey Federation] all the best for [The Max] Pakistan premier hockey league. As a Pakistani sports person, I feel that playing a part in the progress of national sport is Meri National Duty,” Rizwan stated.
I wish @PHFOfficial all the best for #TheMax Pakistan premier hockey league. As a Pakistani sports person I feel that playing a part in the progress of national sport is #MeriNationalDuty. 🇵🇰 🏑 @themaxpk https://t.co/LSCHQgjRjj
— Muhammad Rizwan (@iMRizwanPak) July 4, 2022
Meanwhile, Test cricketer Fawad Alam also threw his weight behind the premier hockey league and lauded the initiative of PHF, while also terming it good news.
“Great news from [PHF] on the launch of [The Max]. Looking forward to see the glory back in hockey,” Fawad tweeted.
— Fawad Alam (@iamfawadalam25) July 5, 2022
It is pertinent to mention here that the league will initially feature five teams including Karachi, Lahore, Quetta, Peshawar, and Islamabad.