Lahore: Pakistan on Thursday appointed former hockey coach Abdul Rasheed (Jr) as manager, hoping to lift its sagging stature before next year’s Olympic Games in Athens. Pakistan also appointed another former Olympian, Qamar Ibrahim, as video analyst.
“Our target is the Athens Olympics and we hope that the new manager, along with other officials, work hard on the team and bring good results,” Pakistan Hockey Federation secretary Brigadier Musarratullah Khan said.
Coach Tahir Zaman and his deputy Shahid Ali Khan were retained. Pakistan, three-time Olympic and four-time world champions, has slumped of late in international hockey, turning in an all-time low performance to take fourth place at last year’s Asian Games in Busan.
Rasheed became the only player in history to win World Cup titles as coach and player when Pakistan won its last of four world titles in Sydney, in 1994. As centre-forward, he led Pakistan to the inaugural World Cup title in 1971 and scored 96 goals in 89 internationals across his illustrious career.
Pakistan finished a poor fourth in two three-nation tournaments in Australia last month and even lost to Australia’s second string team in one match in Perth. The performance forced the resignation earlier this week of former Olympian Shahnaz Sheikh. Pakistan’s first assignment is next month’s six-nation Champions' Trophy in The Netherlands.