The Pakistan national hockey team represents Pakistan in international field hockey. Having played its first match in 1948, it is administered by the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), the governing body of hockey in Pakistan. It has been a member of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) since 1948 and was a founding member of the Asian Hockey Federation (ASHF) established in 1958. Pakistan is one of the most successful national field hockey teams in the world. Record of winning four Hockey World Cups (in 1971, 1978, 1982, and 1994). Pakistan Hockey Team History.
Pakistan has had the best performance in World Cup history in both relative and absolute terms, with 53 wins, seven draws, six final appearances, and only 24 defeats in 84 matches played. The Pakistan national team has played all the FIH World Cup editions with the only absence in 2014. The Green Shirts are also the most successful national team at the Asian Games with eight gold medals: 1958, 1962, 1970, 1974, 1978, 1982, 1990, and 2010, the most times a country has finished first, and the only Asian.
The team that has won the prestigious Champions Trophy, with three championships: 1978, 1980, and 1994. Pakistan has won a total of 29 official international titles. Professional and grassroots selection, with three gold medals in field hockey tournaments at the Olympic Games: Rome 1960, Mexico City 1968, and Los Angeles 1984.
Pakistan Hockey Team in Ranking
Field hockey is the national sport of the country. The Pakistan national team was ranked as the world’s No. 1 team by the FIH in both 2000 and 2001. Former captain Sohail Abbas holds the unconfirmed world record for most international goals scored by a player in the history of international field hockey. Wasim Ahmed is the most capped player for the team having played 410 times between 1996 and 2013.
Pakistan is known for its fierce rivalry with India, having played each other in the finals of the South Asian Games and the Asian Games. They have faced each other in the finals of twenty major tournaments so far, of which Pakistan has won a total of thirteen titles. Pakistan holds the record of consecutive wins against India in the first three Hockey Asia Cup championships in 1982, 1985, and 1989. In addition, Pakistan has notable rivalries with the Netherlands and Australia.
Pakistan’s home ground is National Hockey Stadium Lahore. The current head coach of the team is Siegfried Ekman and the team manager is Syed Sameer Hussain.
Originally, the game was brought to British India by British soldiers, and like cricket, it soon became a popular game among the local population. After the independence of Pakistan in 1947, soon after the Pakistan Hockey Federation came into existence in 1948. Before the partition of India, players who played for Pakistan competed for the Indian team.
The federation soon established and organized provincial hockey/sports associations of West Punjab, East Bengal, Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Bahawalpur, and Services Sports Board. On 2 August 1948, despite limited resources, the Pakistan national team, led by Ali Iqtar Shah Dara, officially went on to play its first international game, winning 2–1 against Belgium at the 1948 London Olympics.
Pakistan remained unbeaten during the group stage by defeating Holland, Denmark, and France and finished fourth. Pakistan’s 6-1 defeat to Holland during the group stage was a highlight for the team. After the Olympics, Pakistan toured Europe where they played Belgium, Holland, and Italy and went undefeated on the tour.
The team’s next international tour came after a gap of two years when Pakistan participated in an invitational tournament in Spain in 1950. After the final ended in a draw, Pakistan was declared the winner along with the Netherlands, and the organizers decided to end the game rather than go through. For the decisive period of the game, this was Pakistan’s first victory in an international tournament. Again there was a gap of two years before Pakistan appeared in an international event again and this time it was the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki.
Pakistan won the first knockout match against France 6-0 but lost to Holland and Great Britain to finish fourth in the event again. For four years, Pakistan toured and hosted European teams in their home country, and in Asia, Pakistan made regular visits, particularly to Malaysia and Singapore, with whom they played quite a few times.
1st Major Competition
The first major competition after Atlanta 1996 was the 1998 Hockey World Cup in Utrecht, Pakistan finished 5th in the tournament. The following year in 1999, Pakistan won the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup for the first time. Pakistan finished fourth after losing the bronze medal match to Australia at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. The last time Pakistan played for a medal at the Olympics. Pakistan finished 5th in the 2002 World Cup and Kuala Lumpur. And won the bronze medal in the Champions Trophy the same year.
At the 2002 Asian Games, Pakistan finished fourth. The first time the team did not win a medal at the competition. In 2003, Pakistan lost to India in the finals of the Hockey Asia Cup, and in 2004. Pakistan had a busy schedule where they played in several tournaments before the Olympics. But Pakistan finished 5th in the 2004 Athens Olympics and was later crowned champions of 2004 in December. Trophy in Lahore, third bronze medal in a row. In 2005, Pakistan won the 2005 Hockey Rabo Trophy in the Netherlands by defeating Olympic champions Australia. Pakistan finished 6th in the 2006 World Cup and failed to progress beyond the pool stages of the 2007 Asia Cup. Pakistan Hockey Team History.
The team’s worst performance was at the 2008 Beijing Olympics event where they finished 8th. The year 2010 started with another record worst performance at the 2010 World Cup in New Delhi where the team finished 12th. In the same year, Pakistan won the gold medal in the 2010 Asian Games in China. 20] In 2011, Pakistan played several minor tournaments leading up to the 2012 Olympics where they finished seventh. Later in the year 2012, Pakistan won the bronze medal at the 2012 Champions Trophy in Melbourne by upsetting tournament favorites like Germany.
The most successful tournament for the Pakistani national team during this period was the Asian Hockey Champions Trophy. They won the first trophy against India in 2012. And finished as runner-up in the first edition of the Asian Hockey Champions Trophy in 2011. Important team honors Pakistan team had world-renowned individual players in world hockey. Like Sohail Abbas who was the top scorer in the 2002 World Cup and 2004 Olympics. The latter with 348 overall in international hockey. Pakistan Hockey Team History.
Pakistan, after failing to gain direct entry to the 2014 World Cup, given the last chance to qualify for the event by winning the 2013 Asia Cup. But finished third and qualified for the World Cup for the first time. From 2016 to 2017, Pakistan performed poorly in various competitions until a record 9–1 defeat against Australia 2017. In 2018 Dutchman Roelant Oltmans brought in as coach. And the team showed some improvement, but still performed poorly in 2018.
World Cup, failed to win a single match. Pakistan once again failed to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Toky. Losing to two ties in an Olympic qualifier against the Netherlands in 2019. The team has not played an international match since 2019. Pakistan Hockey Team History.
The PHF announced Pakistan’s participation in the 2021 Asian Champions Trophy. The team’s first appearance in an international competition after a gap of two years. A 20-man squad was announce before the tournament with Siegfried Eckman as the head coach. For more details click here