Pak national team retire; PHF sack selectors, team management | india | Hindustan Times
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Pak national team retire; PHF sack selectors, team management

india Updated: Mar 11, 2010 22:04 IST

The humiliating 12th place finish in the World Cup on Thursday threw Pakistan hockey in turmoil as the entire 18-member team announced collective retirement from international hockey after the sacking of the selectors and the team management by the national federation.

Pakistan, for the first time, finished last in the World Cup history after losing the classification match to Canada.

The collective decision of the players came hours after the Pakistan Hockey Federation cracked whip on its officials.

"Pakistan Hockey team has announced retirement from international hockey after the poor performance in the World Cup. Captain Zeeshan Ashraf said that all the 18 players accepted the defeat in the event and decided to retire from international hockey," a PHF statement said.

"We will support PHF in the future in any aspect of the game and will also available if Pakistan needs any player any time," the statement quoted Ashraf as saying.

PHF President Qasim Zia said the result was against all expectations.

"It is a shameful performance that we have ended up on the last spot in the World Cup, this was something I was not expecting at all from this team," Zia told PTI.

Senior forward Rehan Butt said the team take up the responsibility for the shabby performance.

"Yes, we have resigned. We have taken this decision voluntarily and we want now the youngsters to take over," Butt said in New Delhi.

Zia, a former Olympian himself, said that a committee will be formed to inquire into team's debacle.

"The immediate step I could take has been taken, but clearly Pakistan hockey today is at its lowest ebb and we need to take drastic measures to set things right," he said.

The sacked chief selector Hasan Sardar announced his resignation just few minutes before the PHF sacked selectors, coach Shahid Ali Khan and manager Asif Bajwa.
"I had tendered my resignation well before time because I also feel let down by this shameful performance of the team," Hasan, a former captain, said.

"This was the best team we could pick but unfortunately for inexplicable reasons the team just didn't perform to its potential," he added.

Sacked coach Shahid Ali Khan had no ill feeling for being sacked saying they deserve the treatment.

"The PHF has taken right decision to sack the management and selectors and it is good the players also realised that they have failed to deliver and announced their retirements from international hockey," Shahid said from New Delhi.

"We should have done much better but we have brought shame on Pakistan hockey and let down the nation and we deserve this," he said.

Zia said while he did not expect gold from Pakistan but at least wanted the team to make the semi-finals.

"Their performance is shocking, I have no words to describe what happened. But we are now looking ahead to the Asian Games," he said.