Shahbaz lambasts hockey team for lack of temperament, stamina

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ISLAMABAD, June 29 (APP): Expressing dejection at national
hockey team’s pathetic performance in the recently concluded World
Hockey League semifinal round, Secretary Pakistan Hockey Federation
(PHF) Shahbaz Ahmed Senior said on Thursday that the current
Pakistan outfit lacked in “intellect and temperament to win
matches.”
“Playing for the country is a big honour. But I am really
dejected to see that our current team has neither fighting spirit,
nor the will to win,” Shahbaz told APP.
Pakistan lost to traditional rivals India 7-1 in their opener,
went down to The Netherlands 4-1, and were thrashed 6-0 by Canada. They managed to qualify for the quarterfinal as the fourth team from
Group B with just one win against the lowly Scots. In the
quarterfinal they were beaten 3-1 by world number one (Argentina).
Then they again lost to India 6-1 for the fifth position match. They
however finished seventh in the tournament by beating China 3-1 in
the seventh/eighth position match.
Shahbaz said when he took over charge in September 2015, he
had predicted that the current Pakistan side could not be among the top six teams in next two years as the players lacked confidence and the spirit to win.
“Our boys just don’t know what sort of hockey they should be
playing. They are just passing the time and their sole priority is
to play for different leagues.
“The way they lost to India is quite depressing. I have never
seen such a spiritless side,” Shahbaz said.
He said the PHF did whatever it could to prepare the players
for the important event. “We’ve spent fifty million rupees upon
these boys during the past three months. We sent them on a 20-day
Australia-New Zealand tour to prepare them for the World League.
Similarly, they were sent to Ireland 15 days ahead of the
event. But at no stage in the tournament they showed that they
wanted to win.
“I was expecting they will bounce back like our cricket team
and will make them (cricket team) a role model. But unlike them they
kept on making the same mistakes and played same poor hockey,”
Shahbaz lamented.
He believed the habits of the current players had become so strong
that nobody could change them now.
Shahbaz, however pinned high hopes on Pakistan’s under 18 team
stating that it was heading in the right direction.
“The boys in our under 18 team are working hard. They seem
eager to win. They have shown great fighting spirit in Australia’s
national hockey championship and defeated their top clubs.
“I’m sure our hockey will rise when they will become a part of senior
hockey team,” he added.