As expected it was Asif Bajwa, Secretary, Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), coming under the hammer when the hockey greats addressed the members of the Karachi Press Club on March 18. He was asked to accept the responsibility for the debacle and quit the scene.
The galaxy of hockey Olympians arrived at the club dot on time even though quite a few protest meetings were being held nearby and the roads were blocked. Akhtar-ul-Islam and Islahuddin Siddiqui led the squad that also featured the illustrious figures of Samiullah Khan, Shahnaz Shaikh, Rashid-ul-Hasan, Shahbaz Ahmed, Ayaz Mahmood and Saeed Khan.
The top officials of the Karachi Press Club, Imtiaz Faran (President) and A H Khanzada (Secretary) alongwith the members of the club’s sports committee received the distinguished guests at the main entrance and they were escorted to the terrace where the Meet the Press programme began at the designated time of 4 pm.
Quite a few other prominent hockey players of the past including Mansoor Ahmed, Moinuddin Khan, Qamar Zia, Qamar Ibrahim, Kamran Ashraf and Mohammad Irfan sat in the audience alongwith local club players and fans of the game.
All the speakers lamented Pakistan’s disgraceful performance in the recently concluded World Cup hockey tournament in New Delhi where the team finished at the bottom.
They unanimously attacked the PHF officials for the expected disaster. They attributed the debacle to the defensive approach of the team management as Pakistan could score only nine goals in the six matches they played during the tournament.
Shahnaz Shaikh presented a comprehensive report in which he blamed the PHF for having ignored the advice aimed at improving the performance of the team.
“I had warned the team management so many times to refrain from playing defensive hockey. It’s suicidal approach if you ask your boys to play defensively. It demoralizes the players and their mindset becomes negative,” Shahnaz asserted.
“Our players had to pay the price of getting engaged into defensive tactics. Our strength became our weakness when the boys were put into negative frame of mind. Our boys were drained out and they hardly could attack the rivals with the punch that was no desperately needed. You can’t win a game with out scoring. If you yourself cut down your scoring chances than how can you expect to win,” he argued.
“The management on the bench was mostly shouting in rage rather than design a timely substitution for the aging players. Subsequently most of the goals were conceded in the dying moments of the matches. Most of the goals against Pakistan were scored on counter attacks by the opponents showing a physical fitness problem. It required strength, endurance and circuit training was not planned during training camp,” he said.
Islahuddin, who spoke behalf of the Olympians, in the extended interactive session, dispelled the impression that the hockey greats were demonstrating the unity to seek any position in the PHF.
“All these luminaries of the Pakistan hockey have secured jobs with their respective organizations where they are employed and neither of us is running for any job in the PHF,” he clarified.
To a question, he said that the Olympians were ready to meet the government officials and discuss the issue with them as they were keen for the revival of hockey in the country.
The blog was co-founded by Syed Khalid Mahmood and Zee Waqar Ahmed Samdani in 2008 with the objective of peeping into the sporting arena and bringing news and views about the current events while also sharing thoughts about the historic events of the past.
It has been covering the majority of popular sports like cricket, hockey, football, squash, snooker, athletics, golf, tennis, basketball and swimming. The mega events like the Olympic Games, the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games have also been covered from time to time besides shedding light on various disciplines of mind sports and martial arts.
Its archives have more than 1,000 write-ups already which serve as useful resource material for the sports enthusiasts in general and the researchers in particular.
Beginning in April, 2009 Google will begin tracking user activity via a cookie. This cookie will then determine what ads might be most appropriate for you, based on your interests. People who frequently visit ESPN.com and CNNSI.com, for example, will see sports-related ads. The logic is that you will be more interested in these ads than you might be in ads that are simply related to the content of the blog. For more information, or to opt out, go to Google Privacy Center.
There is a blue "opt out" button in the upper right corner. If you opt out, you will continue to see ads, but they will be related to the content of the blog - something that does not require a cookie.
Privacy Clause We use third-party advertising companies to serve ads when you visit our website. These companies may use information (not including your name, address, email address, or telephone number) about your visits to this and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like more information about this practice and to know your choices about not having this information used by these companies, Check this link! Google Privacy Center.