Hockey legend and former Chief Selector Hassan Sardar, was on Thursday handed the dual role of head coach and manager of the national team for the upcoming two-match series against a World XI side, replacing Farhat Khan in the dugout.
To his credit, Sardar has won the gold medal with the Pakistan Men’s National Hockey Team during the 1984 Summer Olympics held in Los Angeles and won the gold medal during the 1982 Mumbai World Cup, where he became the man of the tournament, scoring 11 World Cup goals.
He will be assisted by Rehan Butt and Muhammad Saqlain. Former captain and Olympian Islahuddin Siddique has been appointed the team’s chief selector – a position he has previously held.
But the former Olympian has made it clear that there are no guarantees of a “quick revival” of Pakistan hockey.
“Pakistan hockey is down, because no concrete measures were ever taken by the people at the helm of national hockey affairs.It will take time before the desired results start coming,” he said.
Hassan, one of the most celebrated Pakistani strikers of all-time, is one of the several former hockey stars who are currently occupying key positions in the national hockey set-up. In the 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi, he also helped crush India with a hat-trick as Pakistan triumphed 7–1.
Pakistan’s next major assignment will be the World XI Tournament, followed by the CWG Games in Gold Coast and finally the 2018 World Cup in India. Hassan said that the PHF will take all possible steps to ensure that Pakistan field a well-trained squad in the World Cup.
“There is still hope for Pakistan hockey, with a united effort we can revive our national game.We are not that bad. With proper training, better selection and improved coaching, I’m sure we can deliver better results in the future.” he concluded.