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  The Hockey Champions Trophy
 
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09/12/11  The Hockey Champions Trophy is the International Hockey Federation’s most prestigious annual event (since 1978). A Brainchild of Air Marshal Nur Khan, former president of Pakistan Hockey Federation, it features the world’s top-ranked teams. Pakistan initiated the competition as a men’s tournament in 1978 and also presented the beautiful trophy. The tournament has been an annual affair since 1980 for men and since 1987 for women.

In the men’s tournament, the Australians have won the trophy eleven, the Germans nine, and the Dutch eight times. Pakistan are the only Asian champions, with three titles to their name including the first two in 1978 and 1980. Usually six teams qualify for the championship, though the first edition had five teams, the second had seven and 1987 and 2007 had eight. In the year following the Olympics or a World Cup, the six teams include the hosts, the defending champions, the world champions and the next highest ranked teams from either the most recent World Cup or Olympic Games.

The last-placed team in the tournament is dropped and replaced by the winner of the Champions Challenge, which was introduced in 2001 and can be considered as the Champions Trophy for so called B-nations.

From 1978 till 1991 only a Round Robin was played. From the 1992 edition on, after the Round Robin, play-off matches are played between the numbers 1 and 2 (Final), 3 and 4 and 5 and 6 to determine final standings.

The 2011 edition already under progress in Auckland (New Zealand) is unique. For the first time ever there would be no round-robin but two pools of four teams each. The top two teams from each pool would play the semifinals followed by the final. Apart from the six teams selected via the above discussed criterion, two additional teams, Korea and Pakistan have been invited based on their world rankings at the time.

This edition also sees a new host of Champions Trophy in New Zealand. Of the 32 previous editions, Pakistan have hosted the Champions Trophy as many as eleven times while Holland have held it six times and Australia and Germany on five occasions each. India and Malaysia twice each and Spain had the honour once.

Out of the eleven occasions in Pakistan, the Champions Trophy has been held six times in Karachi and five times in Lahore.

Countries with most appearances: Australia 31, Netherlands 30, Germany 29, Pakistan 28. France have made only one appearance (1992).

Only five teams have won the Champions Trophy so far; each of them has won at least once in Pakistan.

Best runs- three victories on trot: Australia (1983-85 and 2008-10) and Germany (1986-88). If Australi wins this time it would be a record breaking fourth consecutive win

The highest number of goals scored in a single CT is 136, in the second version at Karachi in 1980.

The lowest number of goals scored in a single event is 46 goals, also at Karachi in 1986

The highest number of goals scored by a team in a single tournament is 32- Pakistan in 1980

The least number of goals conceded by a team in a single tournament is two - Germany (1995)

Five times, the teams had perfect campaigns i.e. winning all the matches: Pakistan in 1978 and 1980, Netherlands in 2000, Germany in 2001, Australia in 2010

Biggest win: Australia bt France 9-2 in 1992

The players with the most men’s Champions Trophy gold medals are Jeroen Delmee, Teun de Nooijer, Sander van der Weide and Guss Vogels (all NED) and Carsten Fischer (GER), who have won 6 gold medals each

Most Appearances: Teun de Nooijer (NED) 16 followed by Jeroen Delmee (NED) 15

Three players have picked up twelve career Champions Trophy medals: Dutchmen Teun de Nooijer and Jeroen Delmee, and Australiaís Craig Davies

The top three scorers in the CT are Taeke Taekema (NED) — 45 goals, Teun de Nooijer (NED) — 42 goals, Sohail Abbas (PAK) — 40 goals

Paul Litjens (NED) with 15 goals in 1980 holds the record for a single edition

Teun de Nooijer (NED) has scored in 15 consecutive CT events

In a single match, three players have scored five goals: all three are Dutch - Paul Litjens v Britan in 1981, Ties Kruise v Pakistan in 1982, Taco Van Honert vs Pakistan in1993

Yet another Dutch player, Floris Jan Bovalander, owns the record for the highest number of hat-tricks, he made it four times.

The fastest hat-trick in a Champions Trophy match was scored by Australia’s Colin Batch, in only nine minutes against Holland in 1980

The highest number of goals in a final match is four, by Germany’s Andreas Becker against Australia in 1992

Pakistan’s Hanif Khan is generally credited with the fastest goal in a Champions Trophy match, when he put his side ahead after just 11 seconds, against Holland in 1984

The first ever goal in the Champions Trophy was scored by Pakistan’s forward, Shahnaz Sheikh, against New Zealand (1978).

When Germany performed a hat-trick of victories at the Champions Trophy from 1986-88, they were led by Heins Dopp on each of the three occasions.

Shahbaz Ahmed skippered Pakistan as many as six times, 1990 to 1995, a record for the Champions Trophy.

PAKISTANí S RECORDS:

Pakistan appeared in 28 out of the 32 editions (didnít figure in 2000 and the last three i.e. 2008 from 2010)

Three golds: 1978 (1st), 1980 (2nd) and 1994 (16th)

Six silvers: 1983, 1984, 1988, 1991, 1996 and1998

Six bronze: 1986, 1992, 1995, 2002, 2003 and 2004

Seven times 4th position: 1981, 1982, 1985, 1989, 1990, 1993 and 2001

Thrice 5th position: 1997, 2005 and 2006

Once 6th: 1999

Twice 7th: 1987 and 2007

Pakistan won the first and the second Champion Trophy events but had to wait for 14 years for their third win, in 1994

— All three Pakistani victories were achieved on home soil.

— Shahbaz Ahmad and the two goalkeepers: Shahid Ali Khan and Mansoor Ahmed have the maximum appearances (10) in the Champions Trophy for Pakistan.

Apart from Shahbaz Ahmed, who captained Pakistan six times, only three players have captained Pakistan on more than one occasion. Hanif Khan, Mansoor Ahmed and M. Sarwar all skippered Pakistan in two editions of champions Trophy

— Penalty corner expert Sohail Abbas has been Pakistan’s overall top scorer with 40 goals followed by inside-left Hanif Khan — 21 goals.

Sohail Abbas is Pakistan’s top goal-getter in a single edition as well, with nine goals in 2003.

— After his appearance in 1995 champions Trophy, Shahbaz Ahmad next appeared in 2001, a gap of six years — Apart from Shahbaz Ahmed, who won the Player of the Tournament award twice (1991 and 1992), five other Pakistanis have won this coveted award: Shahid Ali Khan (1983), Hanif Khan (1984), late Qazi Mohib (1988), Khawaja Junaid (1994) and Dr. Atif Bashir (1998).

. Pakistan’s biggest victories in the Champions Trophy came in the second edition (1980) when Pakistan defeated both India and Australia by an identical margin of 7-1.

Pakistan’s heaviest defeat is 2-9 by Holland in 2006.

In 1984, Pakistan team had three real brothers in Manzoor Hussain Jr (captain), Maqsood Hussain and Mahmood Hussain, all of them forwards, who in one match played together.

Apart from the above trio, six pairs of brothers have represented Pakistan in the Champions Trophy: Samiullah and Kaleemullah, Manzoorul Husan and Rasheedul Hasan, Imran Yousuf and Irfan Yousuf, Raheem Khan and Imran Khan, Mohammad Anees and Mohammad Asim, Mohammad Sarwar and Mohammad Zubair.
 
 
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