ISLAMABAD: Former Olympian Tahir Zaman said on Sunday that Pakistan team’s poor performance in the World Hockey League was not surprising as the team had not prepared well for the event.
“The debacle was certain. Team’s preparations for the event were not up to the mark. It was obvious from the start it would be tough for them to qualify for the 2016 Olympics,” he told APP.
Tahir Zaman said that he had seen Pakistan players at two initial camps as consultant and their physical fitness level was very poor. “Our team was already lacking speed and strength, which are essential ingredients for better performance in a big event. You can’t win matches just with emotions,” said Zaman, who played a key role in 1994 world cup victory for Pakistan at Sydney.
He said that since 2013 Pakistan had been constantly changing coaches, which was also one of the main reasons of team’s poor performance. “If you will keep on changing coaches frequently, you will remain unable to get desired results,” he said.
“Look at Germany; they have a coach who is with their team for the last 12 years. He has been given full authority by the federation. The federation only facilitates him and he is responsible to produce results,” he added.
He said national team skipper Imran had taken a wise decision to step down from the captainship after national team’s poor performance. He said that the players should also be held accountable for poor show in the event. “I think time has come to take bold decisions.
Players should also be asked why they have remained unable to fulfill nation’s expectations,” added Zaman, who has seen national flag fly high on numerous occasions in world hockey in the past.
He said despite the fact that hockey was Pakistan’s national game, orthodox and conventional methods were being used in training of the players. “The world has changed. Old and hackneyed methods of training will no longer work. We need to make our training attractive, entertaining and creative if we want to see it result-oriented,” he maintained.
He said that Pakistan could regain its lost glory but for that prudent decisions were needed. “There seems to be a total collapse of the national game at present. But I believe we can rise from the ruins if all the stakeholders focus how to resurrect the national game”, he said.
He proposed to introduce league matches in schools during summer vacation camps saying that the step would create interest and passion among the youth for the national game.
“Sooner or later we will have to do that if we want to see revival of hockey in our country,” he said.
Commenting on formation of a six-member committee by the government to probe the dismal performance of the national hockey team, he expressed the hope the committee would come up with some concrete recommendations for the uplift of the game.