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OPINION: National Game Is Reviving

What’s The Story: Once Pakistan was by far the most dominant force in the history of hockey. But every good thing comes now we are facing a decline in our national game. This is the darkest era in the history of hockey for Pakistan. We failed to qualify for the 2016 Olympics. Pakistan was suspended from playing WORLD HOCKEY PRO LEAGUE 2019 due to a lack of funds. We are on the verge of not playing Olympics 2nd time, consecutively as we have to play Holland in the Olympics qualifying match which looks like a clear loss for us as our national team hasn’t played with any international team from a long time.

The players are young and inexperienced. They have to play one of strongest teams in the world without any practice. So it’s looking very very difficult for Pakistan to qualify for the Olympics. The Background: Once Pakistan was by the most dominant force in hockey.No one has witnessed such a dominant force in Hockey.No other country won trophies as much as Pakistan has won in the past. We won 3 OLYMPICS, 4 WORLD CUPS, 3-time CHAMPION TROPHY, 8-time ASIAN CHAMPIONS, 3-time ASIA CUP, and 3-time AZLAN SHAH CUP. This is only what we have won while we have been runner up many times and also won many bronze medals in these competitions. The writer’s take: I know that this post is going to be ignored but my heart is saying to do it right now. I am a big fan of Pakistan’s hockey since my childhood. I used to follow Pakistan Hockey and was in love with it since my childhood due to our legacy in hockey.

The love that our youth have with Cricket and Football at the present time is equal to the love that I have for hockey. But the question is why our youth has no interest in hockey? The answer is simple, the decline in hockey due to failures, no trophies at the present time, no broadcasting, no attention from the government and the biggest of all is no investment in it. We are on 17th rank at present in FIH rankings. Which is our lowest ever rank in the history of hockey? Who is responsible for this? The federation, the players, the government, media or we, the people? Everyone mentioned above is equally responsible for this. If we all are sincere with our duties then such a situation wouldn’t have come in hockey. Lack of interest in the government in hockey is one of the biggest reasons. They don’t provide enough funds for hockey so that the federation can give proper facilities and good wages to the players. Hockey players don’t get enough pays and aren’t provided by basic hockey facilities which are the reason of failures of Pakistan’s hockey. After that media is also responsible for this. They don’t broadcast hockey matches so that people can watch their national game and love their players playing.

They should also telecast old Pakistan’s matches where we won trophies which can surely help to revive hockey as our youth and new generation will get to know about our achievements in hockey. After this, people are also responsible for this. As we are too much in love with cricket and football that we have forgotten our hockey. We don’t like hockey to watch. We don’t like to discuss it in on social media as we use to discuss cricket and football. We need to take this responsibility and only we can help to revive hockey in Pakistan by talking about social media as social media is the most powerful tool nowadays. Yes I am disappointed by the ranking of Pakistan team but I am hopeful that it just need 4 to 5 years to revive hockey in Pakistan as GOLD MEDALIST OLYMPIAN Manzoor Junior has been appointed as chief selector of Pakistan Hockey team who was one of the important players of 1984 winning Olympics team and was also selector of team Pakistan when it won Worldcup last time in 1994. I have so many expectations from him as he has started to work at the grass-root level. I am hopeful InshaAllah our golden days in hockey will be back soon.

Written by: Muhammad Binyameen Iqbal

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