Hockey Is Our National Identity But We Lost It: Asif Shaikh

By: Rubab Malik

Asif Sheikh was a famous hockey player of his times. Now he is working with WAPDA as Assistant Lineman in construction division. After passing BSc in Maths, he did MSc in Electronic from Sindh University. Mr.Asif played active role in intervarsity activities during his student life. He was also a coach of hockey in Sindh University.

Q: Why you chose Hockey as a field?

A: Actually my elder brother was in this field, this inspired me. You can say that he is my ideal, so I chose this field.

Q: For the first time when you got chance to show your talent?

A: In childhood, when I was in 5th standard, I played hockey first time. I also played at college level. But, I played my first intervarsity from BSc level. In those days one of my teachers, Professor Aslam Memon, from Political Science Department was incharge of board's hockey team, he referred me and I played 1st time on national level in Peshawar. It would be appropriate to say, Mr. Memon had introduced me in this field. 

Q: How many matches you played till today, and what was success rate?

A: The list of my matches is uncountable, but I won twice intervarsity and was awarded with "Silver Medal” .I also played Sindh Games in 1992 and won "Gold Medal". In 1998 I was again awarded by silver middle in. 2010-2011.  I played "Tug of War" in which I won" Bronze Medal" from Karachi and Silver Medal from Sukkur. Almost 17 times I played Hockey National Championship, 12 times Inter district, and 17 times from Pak WAPDA.

Q: Did you ever play at International level?

A: Yes I did, in 1992 I played against China, I played against Egypt and Oman in 1998.

Q: You had been a Director of WAPDA Sports. What do you want to say about it?

A: During 2006-2008 I had been Director of WAPDA Sports. At that time, I appointed 18 players from Quetta, Balochistan, Karachi and Interdistrict areas of Sindh. Most of them were girls. The Pakistan Asian Champion "KulsoomHazaarah" and Mr. Pakistan (Atif body builder) were appointed by me.

Q: Presently seven hockey players of Pakistani team are in India to play India League. What would be your comments?

A: Every one knows that Pakistan's Hockey is now landing into “Dark Ages". On the other hand Pakistan Hockey Foundation also announced that no one can play after the age of 30. In such a situation, I personally believe that we have no right to resist or criticize those players, because they have chosen hockey not only for passion but also as profession. If PHF does not allow playing after age of 30 years, surely they will play for other countries.

Q: Do you really think hockey is a national game of Pakistan?

A: This is very embarrassing moment for me. Yes we have to think about it. We must give earlier position to hockey. Hockey is our national identity but unfortunately, we lost this identity. In present circumstances, future of hockey in Pakistan is not bright. In a country where the captain of the hockey team Mr.Zeeshan Ashraf is till on temporary basis, do you think, there is any future of Hockey?

Q: Any message for new hockey players?

A: Firstly I suggest them, they should have  perfect stamina, because in hockey they have to run more and more.

Secondly, the most important advice is, they should play on grass, and should avoid plain ground. Because when they play on thick surface, their joints rub with each other, which might cause joint disorder.