World Cup's most decorated Pakistani player Akhtar Rasool today dismissed talks of any demise of "Asian hockey" but conceded his country and India have lagged behind the Europeans and Australia.
Rasool, who won three World Cup gold medals and a silver, said India and Pakistan do not need to change much of their playing style but need improvement in fitness by leaps and bounds.
"No, it's (Asian hockey) not dead. We should not have any inferiority complex against the Australians or the Europeans. No doubt we are lagging behind in every aspect of the game, be it defence or attack," said Rasool who had come here for the ongoing World Cup at the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium.
"What we need to improve is the fitness level. It is the key to play with speed as the Australians are doing. You need to be fit to play fast-paced game for 70 minutes and not a few minutes. That is the aspect India and Pakistan are lagging behind. You need to be fit to train for nine hours a day to catch up the Europeans and Australians," he said.