After dismal performance by Pakistan cricket team in Asia cup and World T20, this time sad performance of Pakistan hockey team at the Azlan Shah Cup has embarrassed the nation once again.
In the seven-team tournament, team could manage to win only against lowly ranked Canada and Japan. Australia, New Zealand, India and even Malaysia have beaten the green shirts comprehensively. 1-5 defeat inflicted by India was most embarrassing. After this defeat, claims of Indian media seem true that last time Pakistan beaten India in India, their top-notch players were not playing the particular match.
Bad day, bad luck can play havoc on the given day for any team. But Pakistan team seemed unstructured throughout the tournament; their approach remained defensive in all the matches. Players failed to show any spark in the field, either in defence or while attacking which has exposed their ill-preparedness for the tournament.
Once world best team, which has World Championships and Olympics under its belt has failed to qualify for the World Cup 2014 and the 2016 Olympic Games. In Azlan Shah Cup Pakistan’s past record is impressive, they have won the title thrice and remained runner-up on six other occasions. A cricket fan can have better idea from the fact that during its glory days Pakistan was to hockey what West Indies was to cricket in the 1970s.
Decline in Pakistan hockey is not the matter of days or months. Since decades incompetent and allegedly corrupt regimes at the Pakistan Hockey Federation have seen the game slipping. Maladministration, internal politics, lack of funds and missing infrastructure are the facts contributing in decline of Pakistan hockey.
Competency and transparency required to revive the national game’s fortunes