A grand welcome planned for Pakistan's hockey team which won a silver medal in Champions Trophy was on Tuesday called off after a brazen Taliban attack on a military-run school that killed at least 160 people, mostly children.
Pakistan's hockey community is anticipating an exciting semi-final against arch-rivals India in the Champions Trophy but they believe a win is an absolute necessity for the future survival of the cash-strapped sport in the country.
Pakistan Hockey Federation secretary Rana Mujahid is "frustrated" that the national sport is struggling to lure sponsors due to lack of international success in recent years and felt the scene was much better in India.
A severe cash crunch has struck Pakistan hockey team`s preparations for the Asian Games. The record eight-time champions hopes of defending their title is in jeopardy as the team`s Europe tour to prepare for the Incheon Asian Games, Sep 19-Oct, now looks doubtful.
As if the humiliation of not being able to qualify for the ongoing World Cup in Rotterdam was not enough for Pakistani hockey fans now even the national veterans team has been forced to pull out of the Masters World Cup tournament on the sidelines of the main event.
Keen to revive bilateral ties with India, the Pakistan Hockey Federation is planning to host the country for a Test series and has got the government`s clearance for it even though the dates are yet to be finalised.
The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has managed to woo back some of its disgruntled former stalwarts as it announced a new set up for the national senior and junior teams in a bid to revive the sport in the country and relive glory days at the world level.
The much-anticipated bilateral hockey series between India and Pakistan is likely to resume in March this year after the former has shown keen interest to tour the troubled-torn nation for a three Test rubber, according to PHF.
Pakistan Hockey Federation has recently sent a proposal to revive the bilateral series against India and are now awaiting a reply from Hockey India, according to the country`s hockey coach Tahir Zaman.
A group of Pakistani Olympic hockey greats protested outside the parliament in Islamabad against the present set up in the Pakistan Hockey Federation, calling for the sacking of the present PHF officials and an inquiry against them.