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Former players criticise Pak flop show at World Cup

Source: PTI
March 05, 2010 11:37 IST
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Some blamed it on over-dependence on Sohail Abbas, others felt they didn't look spirited enough as former players castigated Pakistan's hockey team for the crushing defeats to India and England in the World Cup.

"It is a sad reflection on the state of affairs prevailing in hockey in the sub-continent," former Pakistan captain and Olympian Hanif Khan said.

"The fact that both Pakistan and India might not be in the semi-finals shows how low our standards have sunk and not just because other teams have improved but because our administrators have taken no proper and far sighted decisions to keep the sport alive in these countries," he added.

Former Olympian Samiullah said the way Pakistan lost to India and England showed the players lacked the spirit and stamina for such a big event.

He was also critical of the presence of Asif Bajwa in the team as manager while serving as secretary of the Pakistan Hockey Federation.

"What was the need for Bajwa to go as manager on every foreign tour anyone else could do this job? It is obvious that the players were confused because of the manager also giving them coaching instructions besides the chief coach of the team Shahid Ali Khan," Samiullah said.

Pakistan's former captain and goalkeeper Mansoor Ahmed, who was a member of the team that won the World Cup last time in 1994, said the results the losses were a result of the incompetent management in Pakistan Hockey Federation.

"The way Pakistan and India have performed in a tournament that is being held in front of their home crowds is more like a death kneel for hockey in these countries," lamented Mansoor.

"There are many loopholes and weak areas in our team and it is time administrators did something right to save hockey from total ruin in the sub-continent," Olympian Shahbaz Ahmed said.

"It is in big tournaments like this that champion players show themselves apart and the unfortunate part is that except for a few Pakistan and India lack players of that caliber," he added.

PHF President Qasim Zia has already said that the federation now plans to bring in a foreign coach for the national team. Zia has managed to convince the Prime Minister to announce an annual grant of Rs 500 million for PHF.

Former Olympian, Qamar Ibrahim said Pakistan lost because of over dependence on penalty corner expert, Sohail Abbas.

"But the point is what were the other players doing if Sohail didn't score goals. It is a team game and it was obvious we had holes in our defence and also in our attacking methods," he said.

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