KARACHI: Former Netherlands penalty corner specialist Floris Jan Bovelander shared his excitement regarding coming back to Pakistan as part of World XI tour.
“I am very happy to be back in Pakistan,” he said in a video statement shared by Pakistan Hockey Federation.
Bovelander can be seen in the video sitting in his office with a picture of Netherlands match against Pakistan in the background. Pointing towards the picture, he said: “As you can see in office here some good memories from the 90s and the 80s….this one [hanging picture is] from Olympics 1988 playing Pakistan.
“Of course, one of our finest moments in Lahore winning the world cup and beating Pakistan. Four years later, Pakistan beats us in final world cup. Good memories for Holland and Pakistani hockey.”
The hockey legend also remarked that he believes that “Pakistan should be always at the top of hockey. Sad to see Pakistan has had some problems keeping up at international level. So, hopefully, with this event and with support from all of us, Pakistan hockey will be back.”
He shared that he looks forward to meeting friends and revisiting memories in Pakistan. “Hope this aspires the children, and [proves to be] motivation for youth to get back to hockey.”
Bovelander was a part of the Dutch national squad which secured two gold medals at 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. During his career, Bovelander played 241 international matches for the Netherlands and scored a total of 216 goals.
Earlier, Netherlands’ Matthijs Brouwer and Rob Reckers along with New Zeland’s Kyle Pontifex and Phillip Ross Burrows had shared their excitement to visit Pakistan.
The World XI will visit Pakistan on a three-day visit during which it will play two exhibition matches against the current Pakistan hockey team. The international players will arrive in Pakistan on January 19.