Pakistan hockey team has been facing a dismal time for quite some time now but their performances weren’t always disappointing. Pakistan hockey team has given the nation many moments to rejoice. There was a time when our hockey team dominated internationally and brought many laurels back home. Our hockey players were even bigger stars than cricketers, names like Shahnaz Sheikh, Hasan Sardar and Samiullah still give us goosebumps because they were not only great players but in all sense of the word, they were true legends. Although times are not so bright now for our team but we’d like to reminisce some good old moments from our history which gave every Pakistani pure joy!
- Pakistan’s first Olympic gold medal
It was in 1960, when our hockey team in their third attempt secured their first ever gold in Rome Olympics. They defeated arch rivals India by 1-0 with Naseer Bunda playing a key role. He scored the only goal of the match allowing Pakistan to become the champions.
- Winning the hockey World Cup for the first time
Believe it or not but it is team Pakistan which holds the record for winning the Hockey WorldCup for the most number of times. They won their first WorldCup in 1971 by defeating Spain in their own country. The solitary goal was scored by the incomparable Tanvir Dar, who later went on to score 8 goals in the tournament, which made him the top goal scorer of the 1971 World Cup.
- 1982 Hockey World Cup
This was the time when Pakistan Hockey was at its zenith. The period between 1956 and 1984 was a golden era for Pakistan Hockey. The 1982 World Cup was held at the famously infamous Wankhede stadium, India. Team Pakistan defeated Germany by 3-1 in the final match. Although it was India’s homeground but they couldn’t even qualify for the semifinals.
- Winning Asian Games 8 times
Not one, not two, not five but a total of 8 times! Pakistan hockey team has been the Asian champion for 8 out of 15 times. This is a record for any team itself. In the 1992 Asian Games, which was organized in New Delhi, Pakistan crushed the hosts 7-1, which is still the biggest victory in the finals of the game’s hockey event by a goal margin.
- Samiullah & 1978 Asian games
The aptly named ‘Flying Horse’ because of his electrifying pace downs the left wing for Pakistan. His ultimate glory was the Gold Medal in the 1978 Asian Games. With his thrilling runs, body dodges and large leaps he could beat and outpace his opponents and penetrate any defense to score goals or create scoring opportunities for his team mates. This was the one of best matches he ever played.
Looking back at all those blissful memories reinstate our hope in Team Pakistan. Times have changed, we may not be at our peak today but we can always be positive. Our team is fighting hard in the WorldCup in India this year. Although they have lost the first match but let’s hope they defy all odds and bring back the long lost charm in this sport.