“Hockey is a unique sport in the sense that you need each and every guy helping each other and pulling in the same direction to be successful.”

–Wayne Gretzky

As the entire population sits glued to the television watching our national cricket team battle it out with an opponent for some sort of prestigious title, other sports lose their value and importance. With the amount of enthusiasm, emotion and support that they show for cricket, one would assume that it was the national sport of the country. If you were to ask any child today what the national sport was very few could tell you that it was hockey.

In the late 1980s and 1990s, Pakistan was a feared contender in the hockey world cup. The national hockey team was able to bring the trophy of world championships to the home country and even qualified for the Olympics. As time progressed and the interests of people evolved the sport got less attention and eventually faded away. In recent years, Pakistan has failed to even qualify for the world championship let alone winning the entire tournament. A reduction in the popularity of the sport has resulted in a reduced number of players opting for hockey. The last time Pakistan hosted an international hockey championship was back in 1998, after which even the prioritisation of the government changed leaving little to no institutional support for the sport.

Sure the interests of the people have to be catered to but not at the expense of all other sports in Pakistan. The lack of interest in the public in hockey, football or squash and many other sports in which Pakistan could potentially increase participation and make use of their talent is something that needs to be changed for creating a more diverse Pakistan.