Hockey, Football, Cricket, and Tennis are recognized International Games. The games have their own history and conventions. The following is a famous saying about them:
Hockey by practice, and Football by prowess; Cricket by chance, and Tennis by dance.
Hockey can be called the national game of Pakistan. At one time we had the honour of holding the triple honors, Olympic, Asian and Championship. Pakistan Hockey Team is still one of best side of the world. Hockey tournaments and matches are being played round the year. This year we had the ‘honour of holding the Hockey Championship in Pakistan. Six teams participated in the World Tournament. All the matches were played on Lahore or Islamabad Hockey Stadiums.
The final of the tournament was played between Pakistan Eleven and Germany. The match was played on Fatima Jinnah Hockey Stadium, Lahore, in the afternoon, on 29th March. The Prime Minister of Pakistan Mr. Nawaz Sharif was the chief guest. At first the teams were introduced to the Chief Guest. Then national anthems of both the countries were played. The game started exactly at 4:30 p.m. The stadium was jam-packed and about forty thousand fans witnessed the match. I watched it on the T.V.
In the beginning, the tempo of the game was rather slow. The ball swang up and down. There were some good moves on both the sides. The German side was the winner of the last Championship. The game picked up speed after about fifteen minutes. The crowd cheered both the teams for sudden break through. After a few minutes, Pakistan center-forward Shahbaz scored a wonderful goal after dribbling two opponents. It was a field goal. Now the game became very brisk. The spectators were excited and amused by the game. Five minutes before the first half, the German left out scored a field goal and equalized the game.
After the half time the game became fast. Pakistan side presented superior hockey. The Germans were anxious to get a plenty corner. They succeeded in their tacts. Their world famous plenty corner hitter D’Crouze did not make a mistake and sent the ball like a bullet into the goal. The Pakistani players kept up their morale. The spectators set spell bound. Soon the right-in Feroz trapped the opponent and got a plenty corner. We prayed for our success. This time our Right-back Saeed thrilled the fans by scoring corner goal. The match was even.
After the final whistle, the Pakistani Coach Rashid and Manager Islah-uddin instructed and encouraged the players. No goal was scored in the twenty minutes extra game. The boys and girls clapped and waved green flags. The Referees prepared the sides for final bid-five free hits. The crowd was electrified. It was a great test for the goalies.
Both the sides succeeded in scoring in their five shots. The fate hung in balance. The last minutes were full of suspense. Now it was a play to death or whichever team missed the shot, would lose the match. Pakistan had the first change.’ Shahbaz beat the German custodian. Then the German Centre Forward hit the ball. Bravo! Pakistan goalie Munir had saved the goal. Pakistan had won the Championship. There was great jubilation and rejoicing. The air echoed with Pakistan Zindabad!