Shahbaz Ahmed refuses to accept positions in PHF, says wants to improve domestic hockey
Pakistan's former World Cup winning captain Shahbaz Ahmed has refused to accept the positions of coach, manager or chief selector in the Pakistan Hockey Federation.
Karachi: Pakistan's former World Cup winning captain Shahbaz Ahmed has refused to accept the positions of coach, manager or chief selector in the Pakistan Hockey Federation.
"I don't want either of these positions. I think I can do much more if asked to revamp our domestic hockey structure which is in very bad condition and is neither attracting new players nor producing fresh talent," Shahbaz told PTI.
"I want to use my expertise to revamp and upgrade domestic hockey. India has spent a lot of time and money on their domestic hockey and they will soon reap the dividends. We also need to focus on our domestic structure," he said.
Shahbaz, one of Pakistan's hockey greats and one of the world hockey's most artistic forwards, is seen as a strong candidate to replace Rana Mujahid as secretary of the federation if the new President Brigadier (retd) Khalid Sajjad Khokar decides to make the changes in the set-up.
Khokar was elected as PHF President last week after Akhtar Rasool had stepped down after a fact finding commission of the government recommended changes in the federation to stop the rot in Pakistan hockey.
Khokar, who was nominated as PHF President by the PHF chief patron and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif earlier this month was elected at a special congress meeting of the PHF held in Islamabad last Thursday.
Besides Akhtar Rasool, the chief coach of the national team, Shahnaz Sheikh has also resigned after the national team failed to qualify for the Rio Olympics from the World Hockey League held in Belgium in June.
Shahbaz said he is not gunning for any big post in the hockey set-up.
"I sincerely believe our hockey has gone down because our domestic structure is not attractive enough and is not producing fresh talent. We are playing around with the same group of players for the last few years and are heavily dependent on them which has led to the downfall," the former Olympian said.
Shahbaz, under whose captaincy Pakistan won the Champions Trophy and World Cup in 1994 and also the Asian Games in 1990, said he wanted to use his expertise to revamp the domestic structure.
"By revamp I want to make it more competitive and financially rewarding for players. Our domestic structure needs to have professional coaches and be in line with the requirements of modern day hockey," he said.