Lack of int’l ex­po­sure main cause of team’s de­feat

Pakistan Observer - - FRONT PAGE -

IS­LAM­ABAD—For­mer hockey greats have at­trib­uted lack of ex­po­sure to in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tions as the main rea­son of Pak­istan team’s loss to arch-foes In­dia in the fi­nal of Asian Hockey Champions Trophy 2016.

“In­di­ans won the fi­nal be­cause they have more in­ter­na­tional ex­po­sure. They’ve been fea­tur­ing in al­most all in­ter­na­tional events,” for­mer skip­per Hassan Sar­dar told APP on Mon­day.

He said In­dia did not out­class Pak­istan stat­ing, “It was an in­tense bat­tle. Our boys played bet­ter than In­di­ans. But they failed to avail op­por­tu­ni­ties and suc­cumbed to pres­sure,” he added.

Hassan said that though Pak­istan lost the fi­nal, they should not be de­spon­dent be­cause they gave a tough time to a side, whose play­ers were far more ex­pe­ri­enced than them.

He also be­moaned ab­sence of Paki- stan team’s cap­tain Mo­ham­mad Ir­fan in the event. Ir­fan had failed to de­part with the team as he could not get his pass­port back from Bri­tish em­bassy in time.

“He is a sea­soned player. If he had been with the team, the re­sult of the fi­nal might have been dif­fer­ent,” the erst­while cen­tre for­ward said.

How­ever; he said that Pak­istan needed to look at their mis­takes and take them into con­sid­er­a­tion while pre­par­ing for their fu­ture as­sign­ments. For­mer cap­tain and goal­keeper Man­soor Ahmed also be­lieved that lack of in­ter­na­tional ex­po­sure had stunted team’s per­for­mance in the tour­na­ment.

“I’ve seen some very good hockey from Pak­istani play­ers but they have not been con­stant. In all the matches they played in Malaysia I saw in one quar­ter they would dis­play a su­perb game, while in the next they would look some­what lazy.—APP

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