Ex-Pak hockey greats blast team for 'pathetic' show against arch rivals India

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Karachi, Mar.2 (ANI): Describing Pakistan's performance in its World Cup opener against archrivals India as 'pathetic', former hockey players have slammed the team for the 4-1 loss.

Former captain and coach Islahuddin criticised players, saying it was disappointing to see Pakistan lose the match without offering any resistance.

"I wasn't expecting Pakistan to give such a pathetic performance. There were no drills and I couldn't find any strategy from the team management. It was really disappointing," The News quoted Islahuddin, as saying.

He also raised questions over the team's strategy during the match and said that Pakistani defence was in complete disarray.

"It was quite visible the team's weaknesses are still there. Our players as well as the coaches seemed completely clueless and that's a bad sign at the start of a major event like the World Cup," Islahuddin said.

The captain of the 1994 World Cup winning squad Shahbaz Ahmed took a swipe at senior players of the team, Sohail Abbas, Rehan Butt and Shakeel Abbasi, saying the team was let down by their poor performance.

"In such high-pressure matches you can only win if your senior players give their best and inspire the younger ones to do a good job," Ahmed said.

"All teams know that we rely heavily on Sohail Abbas, so it was expected that India will be ready for him. I'm surprised why we didn't use any other variations to convert the short corners," he added.

Hanif Khan, another former Pakistan captain, attributed the lack lustre performance to lack of co-ordination between the team's defenders and forwards.

He also criticised players for their 'individualistic approach', saying that they seemed to be playing for personal glory during the important clash. (ANI)

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