Bright and Dark side of Pakistani Sports

Jinnah had a great love for sport and fully released its vital role in the development of the nation and inculcation of discipline among the masses. The first National Games were held in Karachi at the Polo Ground from 23 to 25 April, 1948. Sportsmen and officials from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and all the integrated Provincial units of West Pakistan took part in these Games. Over the last decade, however, sports activity in Pakistan has been held back due to the lack of funds and ineffective management. Pakistan was not always like that as our athletes dominated some sports for more than a decade.
Cricket, in particular, is the mainstream sport in Pakistan and our team won many international cricket events mainly the 1992 Cricket World Cup and the 2009 ICC World Twenty20, in addition finishing as runner up in 1999 World Cup and 2007 World Twenty20. Hockey, being the national game of Pakistan, was not as popular as cricket but the team was good enough to win Olympic gold medals and four World Cups. Sohail Abbas in his prime was the most dominant hockey player, holding the record for the most goals scored by an individual and is even regarded as the world’s best penalty corner specialist of all time. Even Squash was dominated by Pakistanis for over two decades. Jansher Khan holds the distinction of winning the maximum number of titles. Jahangir Khan achieved legendary status in this game by winning the British Open for a record ten consecutive times. Pakistani players have won the Squash World Open 17 times, and British Open 12 times, the highest by any nation. Nowadays, Snooker is one the rising sports in Pakistan, and is has been taken up by many people. There has been much success at International circuit especially by Mohammed Yousuf who was the 1994 World Snooker Champion and 2006 World Masters Champion.
In Sailing and Yachting, being one of the most expensive and adventurous sport in the world, Pakistani sailors showed their excellence especially in the Enterprise boat as duo of Byram Avari and Munir Sadiq won a gold medal at Asian Games in 1978 and 1982. Tennis, even though not as popular as other sports, still our players competed in various international events. Khawaja Saeed Hai was the first Pakistani to reach a Grand Slam, playing at Wimbledon, the US Open, and the French Open. In the Davis Cup our team reached the world group play-offs, due to the immense perseverance of Aisam-ul-Haq and Aqeel Khan. Recently, Aisam-ul-Haq defeated world no.1 Roger Federer in doubles at the Basel Open.
The unexpected and unfortunate attack on the visiting Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore left Pakistan cricket in shambles. Now international teams try to avoid visiting Pakistan as a venue for sporting activities which has therefore negatively affected Pakistani sports, business groups and fans in particular. Furthermore, there has been a sharp decline in sports achievements most importantly in Hockey and Squash in which our athletes overwhelmingly ruled more than two decades. Now Pakistan has been unable to produce a world class squash player. In the last ten years none of our players were able to reach even the major rounds of International Championships. Hockey, on the other hand, has suffered the most as the national team as it has failed to win any major title. Countries like Poland and Argentina, which used to fear our hockey team, now easily vanquish us. A common mistake which always occurs in sports is hiring of foreign coaches, despite having excellence in their concerned field, are not able to communicate properly with players due to which their expertise are not transmitted to their utmost level.
The future of sports in Pakistan looks bleak; it would remain so until there are some improvements in the law and order situation as well as in the infrastructure facilities. Critics, however, do not blame terrorism as the sole reason for the decline of sports in the country. A dirty game of politics is played in many sports board due to which many talented sportsmen remain insecure about their futures. However, after every dark night there is a bright day after, so no matter how hard the situation gets sportsmen and the fans just need to keep their head up and remain unwavering.


4 thoughts on “Bright and Dark side of Pakistani Sports

  1. aLI says:

    Well said.

  2. Chikni says:

    bullshit man. do your research b4 u write. Pakistani sports have achieved a lot than what u make out in your post.
    and the future is bright. it’s people like u who are blocking out the light and making the future bleak. Open up your mind ad apply yourself properly to life.

  3. Zeeshan says:

    Very True…

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