ISLAMABAD -  Former Pakistan hockey team captain M Saqlian challenged Pakistan Hockey Federation to hand over the reins of national team to him and within 18 months, he will completely transformed the team and they would be able to fight for World Cup and Olympics gold medal.

Saqlain, who played 301 matches for Pakistan, expressed these views while talking exclusively to The Nation on Wednesday. He said and was the captain of green shirts.

Saqlain, who had played modern day hockey from 1998 to 2009, said Pakistan’s heavy defeats in the World Hockey League against those sides who are not champions but are in rebuilding process were hard to digest.

“Teams like Canada, India scored heavily against green shirts. Despite goalkeeper saved a lot of moves even then the goal conversion ratio of these sides was alarming. We don’t have any sort of planning while playing against teams like Ireland. Even we did manage to beat likes of China and Scotland unconvincingly. We just played old styled hockey and never took advantage of the new rules introduced by the FIH,” said Saqlain who also captained green shirts from 2004 to 2007.

He said off side rule had been long abolished but our players never took advantage like other teams who had a clear planning and they took full advantage of new rules.

“We conceded too many goals on penalty corners and never been able to prepare a single penalty corner expert while our strikers skipper Abdul Haseem Khan and Dilber failed to score goals. These signs are not good for national game, but no one bothered to seek explanation from head coach and team management,” said the former Olympian.

He said qualifying for next year world cup was not a big deal as last time 12 teams were involved in Hockey World Cups but now the number had been raised to 16.

He said Pakistan’s right and left half don’t know the placement and where they should positioned, while our defence also kept sleeping, which was badly exposed by other teams and no game plan was evident how Pakistani players fared in the field.

He emphasised on the need of adopting modern hockey techniques and playing a fearless game.

He said if the federation just provided him a top class physical trainer, he could transform these players into world beaters as there is a lot of talent there but the players lacked in physical fitness and stamina.