Muhammad Asif Khan
Karachi: Furious over Pakistan’s dismal show in the Hockey World League, former captain Hanif Khan has blasted the Pakistan Hockey Federation and questioned the preparations for the important tournament. “Throughout the event, Pakistan’s performance was not impressive. The selectors worked on the right-side and the other wing was left on Rizwan only. Additionally, the inexperienced centre-forward cost the team by panicking in crunch situations”, said Hanif Khan while talking to this correspondent for News One TV.
“The team was like a handicapped bird, having only one wing to fly. How can you expect a good performance?”, asked Hanif Khan.
In the Hockey World League, Pakistan lost the fifth position match to Ireland, on Friday, and subsequently failed to qualify for the next year’s Olympics.
Hanif Khan, the former chief selector, said that presence of many aged players, in the team, was indicative of the fact that grass-root level was not producing players. He also called for the dismissal of present hockey federation officials. “Many players are playing for over a decade which means the grass-root level has failed to produce players. New faces should replace PHF officials and drastic measures must be taken at the grass-root level”, said Hanif Khan
“Pakistan Hockey is in dire straits. It will take a few years to bounce back provided, sincere and competent people are given the responsibility”, concluded Hanif Khan
The writer is a sports journalist in Pakistan, heads the sports department at News One TV & tweets @mak_asif