Bad turf hurts hockey players

April 16, 2010

KARACHI: Hockey players are underperforming in the 57th National Hockey Championship because of injury fears on the dusty astroturf.

Former Pakistan vice captian Mudassir Ali Khan is a one such example, who suffered an injury on the field during his match against Pakistan International Airlines.

“There is no insurance for health and injury treatment of the players,” Khan told The Express Tribune,” I got injured because of the dusty astroturf where the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has organised the championship.”

Khan had previously suffered a knee injury during the 2006 Azlan Shah tournament in Malaysia after which - according to him - his professional life changed, as he had to bear the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury treatment expenses all by himself.

“The PHF did nothing for me and I doubt they have any organisation or department for treating injuries. The players would not play well on the field because they end up trying to avoid getting hurt most of the time,” said Khan.

The cost of victory

Sajjad Anwer, Khan’s colleague, ended up with an injury when he tried to dash during a penalty corner against NBP in the National Hockey Championship match on April 12. The injury reduces his chances of playing in the Azlan Shah Tournament in May.

“If the PHF is holding the camp on the same turf later this month for selection, they will be making a mistake,” said Anwar. However, Anwar is still lucky when it comes to the injury dilemma as being a permanent employee of WAPDA, his treatment is provided for, unlike their colleagues at the NBP or SSGC, where players are hired on the yearly contractual basis.

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