No Pakistan at Hockey world cup

Defending Asian Games title will be an uphill task as other teams will be better prepared after featuring in World Cup

Editorial June 04, 2014
The last triumph was in the high profile event in 1994 in Sydney, and since then it has all been downhill, thanks to the inept management and short-sighted policies of those in charge of hockey. PHOTO: AFP

Four-time champion Pakistan is the only leading hockey nation that has failed to make it to the 13th edition of the World Cup currently taking place in the Netherlands. The absence of the green shirts from the coveted event is appalling to say the least, especially since Pakistan introduced the concept of a world championship for the sport in the 70s. In fact, the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) even gifted the trophy to kick-start the event.

Three out of the first five World Cup tournaments were bagged by the stalwarts of the golden era of national hockey. The Asian wizards were crowned champions in the 1971, 1978 and 1982 editions besides making it to the final in 1975. The last triumph was in the high profile event in 1994 in Sydney, and since then it has all been downhill, thanks to the inept management and short-sighted policies of those in charge of hockey.

In the last two decades, the performance at arguably the biggest global event in the sport has been mediocre at best with the nadir touched in the 2010 edition in Delhi. Pakistan finished with the wooden spoon after losing the 11th position play-off against South Africa. Last year the green shirts lost the World Cup qualifiers in Malaysia before bowing out in the semi-finals of the Asia Cup — the last qualifying opportunity for Asian teams.

The present regime of the PHF has started a so called ‘rebuilding’ process with an eye on the 2016 Olympics in Brazil and the next World Cup four years down the road. Their immediate target is attaining a direct berth in the Olympics by winning the Asian Games later in the year. Pakistan is the defending champion after winning the gold in Guangzhou in 2010. It goes without saying that retaining the title in the Asian Games is set to be another uphill battle for the eight-time champions considering the fact that the likes of India, Korea and Malaysia will take the field battle-hardened after featuring in the World Cup.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 5th, 2014.

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Michael Warner | 7 years ago | Reply

It is very disturbing to experience that Pakistan did not even qualify for the world cup. It is shameful to see the previous regime of the PHF handled the affairs in this manner that the team did not even qualify for the prestigious tournaments. Pakistan is out of Champions Trophy and World Cup. Now, I hope the PHF under a great player of his days Akhtar Rasool starts from scratch and win their first tournament the Asian games. Shahnaz, another great player of his time is preparing the team so, I hope the team responds and pass the first test under the new management team. Islah ud din is also available to guide and lead the team and handle the affairs of the PHF. So, some stars are there to do well and the combination of all of them can be compared with Atif and Zaka Hopefully, some players are converted into Stars by the time the team takes the test of the Asian Games. Like all these Stars, PHf can work on developing the players into stars. Players like Hameedi, Atif, Ghulam Rasool, Kiddie, Anwar Khan, Munir Dar, Zaka uddin, Waheed, Moti, Manna were born stars. In 70's Khalid Mahmood, Asad, Saeed Anwar, Tanvir Dar, Rashid Jr., Islah uddin, Shahnaz, Sami, Akhtar, Munawwar, Manzoor Sr & Sherwani. In 80's Manzoor Jr., Hanif Khan, Kalim ullah, Hassan Sardar, Saeed Khan, Rashid ul Hassan and Moin were the stars. After this in 90's only Shahbaz Senior and in 2000's Sohail Abbass. So, there are no more stars left in the team. Only STARS team do well. Good Luck.

Baba Ji | 7 years ago | Reply

How sad :( ...

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