Hockey: Time for a few changes, says PHF official

Hockey federation disappointed after Azlan Shah Cup debacle.

Fawad Hussain June 03, 2012

KARACHI: As Pakistan hit rock bottom at the Azlan Shah Cup, whispers about impending changes in the team, including the captain’s arm-band, ahead of the Olympics have started to gain momentum.

The three-time champions lost five successive matches including defeats to lower-ranked teams to finish last in the seven-nation event. Penalty-corner specialist Sohail Abbas, leading the Greenshirts for the first time, is likely to pay the most for the team’s poor show.

According to a Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) official, the results have forced the federation to mull over changes including captaincy.

“We never expected such a finish,” the official told The Express Tribune. “All the players are responsible especially the captain. He [Abbas] was unimpressive on his first assignment and we don’t have much time to test him any further.

“The PHF will ask the team management for a report after which a decision on the changes will be made.”

However, the official said that the PHF was likely to retain Abbas as captain for the upcoming Europe tour, adding that the body will also probe reports of grouping in the team during the Azlan Shah Cup.

He added that the chances of seniors making a comeback in the team increased after the pathetic show. Shakeel Abbasi and Rehan Butt, who were handed a fine for participation in the unsanctioned World Series Hockey, look certain to make a comeback.

Many reasons behind debacle: Coach

Meanwhile, Pakistan coach Khwaja Junaid dismissed reports of groupings, saying that mistakes contributed towards the team’s poor show. “All the players are united and played as a team,” said Junaid. “We played with an inexperienced team. Playing on the blue turf for the first time also made it difficult and we need to work hard now.”

Published in The Express Tribune, June 4th, 2012.


Haider | 10 years ago | Reply

Just compare the results of our team when Dutch coach was there. We won the Asian games under him. Its about time we reconsider our priorities and not exaggerate coaching potential within our ex players.

Mustafa | 10 years ago | Reply

Bring back the Dutch coach!

Our former Olympians are from a by-gone era they have no understanding of modern hockey.

Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ

Most Read