ISLAMABAD: Former Olympian Shahnaz Sheikh Thursday expressed disappointment over the scraping of the Champions Trophy Tournament, saying it was part of the Indian lobby’s plan to isolate Pakistan from the game.
Talking to the APP, Sheikh said World Cup, Champions Trophy, Asia Cup and Junior World Cup had been introduced by Pakistan. “Currently Pakistan Hockey Federation and the game is going through hard times, therefore the federation needs to tackle the situation well.”
He said the team had prepared very well for the Champions Trophy to be held in Netherlands from June 23. “I hope the team performs well and bring home laurels,” he said.
Responding to a question, the former player said both Pakistani and Indian teams had same playing style and whichever team played well would win the event.
“In modern hockey the role of goalkeeping and penalty corners are very important therefore Pakistan has to perform extraordinary in both these departments,” he said.
He said in his tenure Pakistan had qualified for the Champions Trophy final in 2014 after 16 years which was a great achievement.
Shahnaz also criticised the federation’s statement that Champions Trophy was only an event to prepare for this year’s Asian Games.
“This is a top class event and one should participate in it with full preparation,” he said and added that such statements make the players’ morale down.
Speaking on how to improve hockey in the country, he said tournaments must be held at schools and colleges.
“At least six hockey academies should be established in the country and Pakistan Hockey League should be organized soon as it would benefit the players at grassroots level,” he said.— APP