Karachi: Olympian Islahuddin Siddiqui says he’s surprised on PHF skipping the Champions Trophy.
Islah said Pakistan was lucky to get a chance of playing such a big tournament due to Dutch team’s withdrawal.
It was like winning a lottery for us when Holland team withdrew as we were not even entering through a wild card in this tournament.
We got the chance just because we were on top of the waiting list after the top six teams taking part in the event.
Pakistan’s most successful former captain was absolutely surprised and asked ‘How could we just let go this chance?’
Playing the Champions Trophy would have boosted the team’s morale specially after winning the South Asian Games.
Under the prevailing situation, it would have been a good opportunity for our team to play with big teams as no international team is willing to play series in Pakistan due to security concerns.
Islah said, I admit we are no more a big team and we might have not won any match but being there in such a big event carries great significance, we would have certainly benefited a lot.
‘I came to know that the purpose of not sending the team to England was to focus on the World Cup but they could have at least considered the Champions Trophy as a great practicing match’ said Islah
The most surprising thing in this situation is sending the boys to Malaysia for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, won’t this disturb the players concentration and preparations for the World Cup? This is a startling logic.
According to Islah, Champions Trophy is a ranking tournament, Azlan Shah isn’t. Playing Champions Trophy could help Pakistan improve its world ranking.
He said, if PHF was scared watching the team end up at sixth position in the Champions Trophy, they should not forget that Green Shirts have been at the 12th in the past.
We lost the Champions Trophy 22 years ago in 1994 but the same year we won the World Cup, so what’s the guarantee that we would win the Azlan Shah Cup?
If you ask me there were more gains than loses in sending the team to England for playing the Trophy.