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Islah bittersweet over Pakistan’s victory

December 09, 2012

pakistan hockey, champions trophy, champions trophy 2012
Shakeel Abbasi and Mohammad Rizwan (Sr.) celebrate with their medals. -Photo by AFP

KARACHI: Pakistan’s beating India to take the Champions Trophy bronze medal in Melbourne on Sunday is a great thing with the team returning with a medal in the tournament started by Pakistan itself in 1978 after eight years. Still we should not overlook our mistakes, said Olympian Islahuddin Siddiqui.

“Of course it is great to know that we won the third-position match and are returning home with a medal. I am sure every Pakistani is pleased just like we all also become disheartened whenever our team loses. But the Greenshirts did well by edging out India as we were better than them in ranking and class,” he said.

“But now like all good administrations the Pakistan Hockey Federation should not forget about its team’s mistakes such as the continuous missing, poor penalty-corner conversion and the boys’ physical condition,” he pointed out.

“For these are the things that really cost us the trophy. In my view, Pakistan should have lifted the trophy. It was a golden chance for us, which I don’t know when we are going to get again,” he said.

“By looking at their mistakes, I do not want them to look into making changes in the team.

“When the PHF says that they are looking forward to the 2014 World Cup and preparing for it, then they should do it with the very same outfit in order to build on its confidence.

“They know about each player’s strong and weak points which they need to work on now. They won’t have that advantage with the newcomers,” Islah explained.

“Another thing which I’d like to say and that I found to be very strange was FIH doing away with the tradition of having three teams, the gold, silver and bronze medal winners, on the podium.

“It was always three teams on the stand for the World Cup, Olympics, Asian Games and Champions Trophy but this time around they gave the winners of the third-position match their medals after their match and the finalists got their medals after their match, that was it,” he observed.

“While introducing all the new rules, the FIH should not lose the graceful and colourful medal ceremony,” the winning captain of the very first Champions Trophy concluded.