ISLAMABAD - Former hockey team captain and Olympian Shahnaz Shaikh described Pakistan junior team’s loss at the hands of arch-rivals India and Malaysia in the Sultan Johar Cup Junior Hockey Tournament as worst and totally unacceptable.
Talking to The Nation on Thursday, he said: “How can it be possible to call the squad as juniors as it is totally ridiculous and hard to absolve as nine players from senior team are currently part of this so-called junior team, which can't even beat the third-string Indian team. The 4-0 margin is a big defeat and a slap on the faces of the current management, who in the last five years or so had done nothing but brought bad name to the country and hockey.”
Shahnaz said the junior team was under the management of current PHF secretary Rana Mujahid Ali, who took the team for foreign trips after every three months and had done nothing for their betterment. “If the current team too weak to beat ordinary and second best sides, where that entire hefty amount had been wasted which was provided to the PHF to regain past hockey glory. Who is responsible for plundering with national wealth? If the management utilizes all the funds honestly and provide players their due rights with proper technical and physical training, then the national side either junior or senior can beat any given opponent.”
The ex-Olympian said it was matter of great importance that national broadcasters had the time and money to telecast international sports live, which had limited following but it was unfortunate that they didn’t have resources to telecast national game hockey as first they didn't bother to telecast 9th Asia Cup Hockey event and now they are also not telecasting Sultan Johar Cup Junior Hockey event.
“It is my humble request to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that he must take notice of the prevailing situation and order immediate inquiry into this matter of grave importance so that the culprits, who are depriving hockey fans of watching their favourite sons in action, should be brought to justice and exemplary punishments should be handed to them, as no one could dare to repeat such blunder in future,” he added.
“These days, hockey is very easy as compare to our playing days because of grass on which ball was uneven and side rule was hindering our chances, but we adopted to the conditions very well and that was the reason not a single major trophy was missing from our cabinet. Now there is no such problem, ball comes perfectly and there is no off side rule as well but the only need of the hour is to adopt fast playing conditions and prepare the players accordingly. But who is going to teach them these simple methods and their appointed coaches and managers, if they don't know the fast changing tactics and latest techniques of coaching, how can it be possible they pass on these things to youngsters? I can't blame coaches for the poor performances of the national team and that too on consistent basis but in my opinion, the PHF top brass is the main culprit for inflicting such heavy damages on national sports,” Shahnaz stated.
“I can't understand what is the logic behind delay in appointing an ad-hoc on the PHF on the part of the Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) ministry and what are they waiting for? The IPC minister must act in the best interest of hockey and the country and advice Prime Minister, who is also the PHF patron-in-chief, to appoint an ad-hoc on the PHF for at least three months so that the scrutiny of the clubs should be started so that the genuine clubs remain in the hunt and that would stop the way of non-professionals chance of occupying the PHF once n for all,” Shahnaz concluded.