By Muzamil Asif
Pakistan is running on a pleasant track as far as the resumption of International events is concerned. As, recently we have witnessed packed international events of cricket, Football, Wrestling and of course Nishan-e-Haider Hockey tournament which featured 11 International goalkeepers from Australia and Argentina, after a gap of almost 8 years in cause of the militant attack on Sri lankan team bus at Lahore in 2009.
Pakistan is exceptional when it comes to sports as it is well-reputed in Snooker, Squash, Hockey, cricket, football and several other sports.
Meantime, if we go through the history of Pakistan, we have great records in several games out of which the highest-flying achievements are in squash.
First name comes in our mind when talking about squash is Hashim Khan who was the first from Pakistan to enter squash arena in 1951. Later on squash got the new identity in country when Jahangir Khan conquered the squash world by clinching 6 consecutive world opens and afterwards Jansher khan fill in for Jahangir khan and clinched 8 world opens. Altogether Pakistan took 14 world opens from 1981-1996, which I think is a huge milestone.
It is not wrong if we say that Jahangir and Jansher khan gave Pakistan an identity in world community and their record is unbreakable yet.
Similarly when it comes to hockey which is our national sports, we won 4 world cups, along with 4 Olympics Gold. In this scenario we can say that Pakistan was a force to pace with in 20th century.
Moreover, if we enlighten the history of Pakistan’s Snooker then our memory would recall the name of Muhammad Yousuf who marked his feat in the record book having 3 gold in IBSF world snooker championship 1994, ACBS Asian snooker championship 1998 and IBSF World masters Snooker championship in 2004, respectively, while got one bronze In Asian Games 2002.
M Asif is the recent name which is prominent in snooker and an inspiration for the juniors. His techniques are relevant and always amused the viewers. His abilities let him to purse gold in IBSF World Snooker championship in 2012. Recently he proved to be more sensational when he compete in 3rd ranking snooker championship and deceive his rivals in every clash to crown the title.
The last but not the least, comes cricket which carries great fan following in the country, has also grabbed great achievements in the history which includes 1992 world cup, 2007 T20 cup, most recently ICC Test mace in 2016 and Champions Trophy in 2017.
Having said that which is brighter side of the situation, one would have to look to the darker side, we see many Former and some of the current players in Pakistan facing serious financial crisis as they are jobless finding no way to support their families.
There are many players in this country involved in playing different games like boxing, football, hockey, snooker, squash, and tennis who are finding it hard to meet both ends. One thinks these games should be promoted on higher levels which will make our identity in sports.
Only promoting cricket could be the reason of other games debacle in the country. We have recently seen this many times as numerous players from different games don’t have enough money to compete in international events.
Recently we watched Arif Richard, a disable cricketer, had to garbage off the streets in Karachi. He has not only represented Pakistan in Asia cup but also toured India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and England.
Apart from this, national football legend Hussain Myte (1964-1980) belongs to Lyari, is serving as security guard and getting 12,000 per month which is very disturbing considering the fact that he has served the country with distinction at National level.
Countless Players are going through the rough path and due to this they are heartbroken from the attitude they have always faced.
I believe that revival of International events in Pakistan are so important to pave the way in displaying decent image of the country in front of the world but despite that we should acquire positive attitude to bring all of them in light who are struggling from dim phases of their life. It would help Pakistan to come up with more records in the upcoming times and will create a charming image of Pakistan in the world sports fraternity.