Muhammad Asif Khan
KARACHI: The newly elected president of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), Akhtar Rasool has vowed to take former Olympians along for the betterment of the state of Hockey in Pakistan. “We must move forward with a clear strategy instead of keep digging into the past. I have great respect for former Olympians and I am even ready to go to their doorstep to listen to their grievances”, said Akhtar Rasool while talking to this correspondent for News One TV.
Akhtar Rasool and Rana Mujhahid were elected unopposed as president and secretary respectively of the PHF for a term of four years.
“Elections were conducted in free and fair manner and the chief election commissioner provided everyone with an equal opportunity to contest”, claimed Akhtar Rasool, who recently held the post of team’s head coach.
On a question, Akhtar Rasool stated that Pakistan was not short of experienced and qualified former players therefore the coaching task would be handed over to one of the former Olympians. “We have top quality coaches with FIH certification, hence I would go for a local coach for the national side”, said Akhtar Rasool who led Pakistan to victory in the 1982 World Cup.
“Along with the top team, the grass-root level needs utmost attention. The revival of hockey at school and club levels is a must and the PHF will take appropriate measures to achieve this goal”, concluded Akhtar Rasool.
Muhammad Asif Khan
KARACHI: Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif has claimed that the “unnecessary controversy” over the team’s captaincy is a deliberate act to divert attention from the real issues. The out-spoken former glove-man also turned down the idea of replacing the team captain at this moment in time. “I was informed by a source that the Najam Sethi had a meeting with Hafeez, manager Moin Khan and coach Whatmore in Dubai recently and I was amazed at Misbah’s absence there. If this is true then it’s a dangerous sign for Pakistan Cricket”, claimed Rashid Latif while talking to this correspondent for News One TV.
“Behind the scene politics hamper the dressing room atmosphere which reflects badly on the performance. Today Misbah is out of favour, tomorrow the same problem could be faced by Hafeez or Afridi. This one-man-show in the PCB is lethal for Pakistan cricket”, asserted Latif
Misbah-ul-Haq is being lamented from various quarters for the team’s dismal run of form lately. Also, the chairman of the PCB, Najam Sethi has reportedly urged Misbah to take a break from captaincy for the upcoming tour of South Africa.
“If Misbah is sidelined despite his exceptional performance, then it would be a tragedy. It will dent the confidence of the upcoming players as well”, said Latif
On a question, the former glove-man also dismissed the notion of appointing an aggressive captain in place of Misbah, as suggested by various experts. “These are just words to make a script interesting. Pakistan lost under aggressive captains like Imran Khan, Wasim Akram and Shahid Afridi as well”, said Latif
“Matches are won with brain not with aggression only”, concluded Latif.
The writer is Pakistani sports journalist, works as Sports Head with News One TV & Tweets @mak_asif
Muhammad Asif Khan
KARACHI: While appreciating the return of all-rounders Abdul Razzaq to the Pakistan T20 squad, the former chief selector, Abdul Qadir has questioned the wisdom behind retaining a few ‘failed’ players in place of a deserving lot. “Razzaq is a match winner and I am happy for his inclusion in the team. Now the captain should utitise him properly by providing consistent chances. If I had the authority, I would have appointed him [Razzaq] as the ODI skipper with Afridi as the captain of the T20 outfit”, said Abdul Qadir while talking to this correspondent for News One TV.
The former chief selector minced no word in coming down hard on the selection policy and said that the selectors had soft-corner for certain players. “Muhammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik and Sohail Tanvir are in the team despite successive failures while Kamran Akmal is out of favour despite his good performances of-late. The selectors also treated Younus Khan and Abdul Razzaq harshly in the recent past.”, added Abdul Qadir, who has held the post of Chief Selector in the past.
On a question, the legendry leg-spin bowler spoke very highly about South Africa’s Imran Tahir, adding that the match winning spell by the leg-spinner in the second test match against Pakistan was ‘artistic’. “I don’t understand why people are not taking him [Imran Tahir] seriously, to me the spell he delivered against Pakistan, in the second test, was artistic where he expertly demonstrated the art of leg-spin bowling”, said Abdul Qadir who has 236 Test wickets to his name.
“People, who don’t even know anything about the grip of leg-spin bowling, criticised Imran Tahir on TV, this was uncalled for. He has bowled well and should be given respect”, concludes Abdul Qadir.