Pakistan should play attacking hockey to win Asia Cup

May 7th, 2009 - 6:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, May 7 (IANS) Pakistan’s hockey experts believe that the team will have to revert to the old style of playing attacking hockey to win the Asia Cup title in Malaysia.
Pakistan is one of the seven teams competing in the 2009 Asia Cup which will get underway in Kuantan (Malaysia) Saturday.

After finishing a poor fourth place in last month’s Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, Pakistan is not regarded among the favourites to win the seven-nation Asia Cup where India are the the defending champions.

Hockey greats like Akhtar Rasool - a former Pakistan captain and ex-president of the Pakistan Hockey federation (PHF) - believe that by returning to Asian style of play, they can boost their chances of winning the title.

“We should remember that Pakistan won all its major titles in the past with the help of Asian style of play,” said Rasool. “Our downfall began when we switched to European style but now it’s time to return to the basics. We will have to revert to our own style and start playing attacking hockey once again,” he said.

Pakistan have won the World Cup on a record four occasions besides winning three Olympic gold medals. But their last major title came almost 15 years back in the 1994 World Cup in Sydney.

Malaysia Japan, South Korea and Bangladesh are drawn in Group A of Asia Cup while India, China and Pakistan make up Group B.

In the last Asia Cup held in Chennai, India beat South Korea 7-2 in the final to win the title.

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