KARACHI: Holland’s Paul Litgents, the world famous penalty corner specialist of his time, reached Pakistan alongwith a Dutch referee and an official on Tuesday.
All the players part of the World XI will be in Karachi by Wednesday night. The team includes players from world’s top hockey-playing nations: Australia are the reigning World Champions while Argentina are the current Olympic Champions. Netherlands are the European Champions. Germany are ranked fifth. Legendary Pakistani drag flicker Sohail Abbas will also play for the World XI.
Following is the brief introduction of the players of the World XI. Rob Reckers of the Netherlands, a forward, has played 209 international matches. His achievements include Olympic silver, European Championships gold, three Champions Trophy gold medals. Roderick Weusthof of the Netherlands is one of the most fearsome penalty corner experts of his time. He has scored 79 international goals. He has bagged an Olympic silver, European Championships gold and Champions Trophy gold.
Matthijs Brouwer of the Netherlands has played 211 matches and scored 68 goals. He has clinched an Olympic silver, World Cup bronze, European Championships silver and three Champions Trophy gold medals.
Hiddi Turkstra of the Netherlands made his international debut at the age of 15 in 2013 and played at the 2016 Olympics. Philip Meulenbroek of the Netherlands plays for Kampong Hockey Club, which won the Dutch national title after 32 years. He has also won European Hockey League title with the club.
Phillip Burrows of New Zealand is the most capped player of his country and is the top field goal scorer (150). He has appeared in three Olympics and has been part of teams that won CW Games silver and bronze.
Kyle Pontifex of New Zealand is a goalkeeper who has played in three Olympics. Santi Freixa is a former captain of Spain. His successes include Olympics silver, European Championships gold and Champions Trophy gold. He has won FIH Young Player of the Year award. He is one of the three inaugural inductees in the European Hockey Federation Hall of Fame.
Roc Oliva of Spain, Also known as ‘Metra’, has bagged silver medals at Olympics and European Championships. David Alegre of Spain is a midfielder who has played at four Olympics. His achievements include silver at Olympics, gold at European Championships and gold at Champions Trophy.
Grant Schubert of Australia has gold medals from all the big title events: Olympics, World Cup, Commonwealth Games, Champions Trophy (thrice). He has bagged FIH Young Player of the Year award too.
Benni Wess of Germany is a defender and midfielder. He is a double Olympic gold medalist, has won World Cup silver and European Championships gold. Justus Scharowsky of Germany is a midfielder. His bag includes World Cup gold, Olympic bronze and Champions Trophy gold.
Aguistin Bugallo of Argentina has played 24 international matches. He won silver medal at Hockey World League final in 2017 and gold at 2017 Pan American Cup. Nahuel Salis of Argentina is a midfielder and drag flicker. He won a silver medal at Hockey World League final in 2017.
Diego Paz of Argentina, a midfielder, won silver at Hockey World League final in 2017.Sohail Abbas of Pakistan holds the world record for most goals in international hockey with 348 goals. He is still active in Pakistan’s domestic circuit. He holds the record for the highest number of goals in a calendar year (60). He is the fastest to score 100 goals in international hockey (two years, six months and 18 days); fastest to score 200 goals (five years, five months and 16 days).