Shameful defeat: Pakistan hockey team fails to break the Indian jinx



India defeat arch-rival Pakistan 3-2 in the final to lift the title of Asian Hockey Champions Trophy. Extraordinary feats of Asian style hockey were exhibited from both sides in the nail-biting encounter in Kuantan, Malaysia. At the end of second quarter of the play, the Indian side was leading by two goals to one, however, Ali Shan leveled the score 2-2 in third quarter. Indian side scored their third goal in final quarter of the match that lasted till the end. While competitive victories over South Korea and Malaysia deserve praise, beating teams such as China and Japan are no feather in Pakistan’s cap. It needs to play European giants such as Germany and the Netherlands more often, even Australia, to be rated as a force to contend with. But one does not see that happening in the near future since the Pakistan Hockey Federation has quite willingly allowed the game to become politicised while its officials have remained too engaged in ego battles and joyrides to concentrate on the game’s development. The advent of the private hockey league in India a couple of years ago infused new spirit into the game in that country, besides making it commercially viable. For its part, the current PHF regime has envisaged putting together a similar league this year; that raised some hopes of a revival. Unfortunately, the government refused to issue NOCs to the foreign players set to feature in the league and the PHF has since been forced to relegate the idea to the back-burner.