Pakistan on Thursday came up with the usual knee-jerk reaction that follows any sporting debacle.
A day after the Pakistan Cricket Board penalised some of their top stars for the team’s poor performance in Australia early this year, the hockey establishment and former players reacted in a similar manner after the team finished 12th and last in the Hockey World Cup on Thursday.
Hours after Pakistan lost to Canada 3-2, the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) president, Qasim Zia, sacked the team management and selectors for the embarrassing performance that saw the team winning only one match out of six in the tournament.
Former Olympians, Hasan Sardar, Rana Mujahid, Khalid Bashir and Farhat Khan, were on the selection panel, while Shahid Ali Khan was the coach. The team manager, Asif Bajwa, will continue in his role as PHF secretary. Eighteen players also announced their retirement from international hockey.
Reports from Pakistan quoting Zia said that the PHF will hold an inquiry into the team’s worst performance in the World Cup and will call an executive committee meeting once the team returns.
In a statement issued on Thursday, PHF media manager, Shahzad Malik, said that skipper Zeeshan Ashraf and all the 18 players had “accepted” the defeat and decided to retire from international hockey.
Ashraf was quoted as saying in the release that the players had failed to live up to the expectations. “We will support PHF in the future in any aspect of the game and will also be available if Pakistan needs any of us later.”