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A Brief History of Field Hockey in Pakistan

26 November, 2018

The Pakistan hockey team has seen its rise, golden days, and its demise over the years.

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There used to be a time in the global hockey scene where no game could be thought of without envisioning the Pakistan Hockey team in it, much like the position that Brazil, Germany, or Argentina hold in present-day international football.  If you are into sports betting and don’t live in Pakistan, we are sure you have already tried out betting on the sports with Betway. So, would you want to bet on Pakistan?

Let’s take a look at how the Pakistan Hockey Federation has had its chart look like since its inception till the present date.

The Field Hockey History of Pakistan:

Brought to Pakistan during the British Raj back with the Pakistan Hockey federation coming into being in 1948 following the nation’s independence. In the present date, the Federation consists of both a national men’s as well as a women’s team.

Before independence, the teams used to consist of players from both present-day India as well as present-day Pakistan. In its first international match against Belgium in the 14th Olympic Games, the Pak hockey team defeated the team by one goal and came back as a winner on 2nd August 1948. Field Martial Ayub Khan’s arrival in 1958 proved to be not only one of the most significant determining factors behind declaring hockey as this new nation’s national sport but also brought in a new wave of enthusiasm for the sport as he emphasized on it more than football or cricket.

The hockey team soon set on an ascent to the top of its game with its reputation raising the standards of the Federation globally. With time, their popularity became more. Western players began to associate the method of ‘dribbling to Pakistani (and Indian) hockey players.

It was during the second-term Presidency of Air Marshal Nur khan that marked the golden age in the history of Pakistan’s field hockey, circa 1978. Before 1960, the Federation even lacked a proper office or secretariat.

A Look at Some of the Better Victories:

The Pakistani field hockey team bagged the gold medal not once or twice in the Olympics game but as many as four times- in 1971, 1978, 1982 and 1994 consecutively. As can be easily understood from the gap in the years, the team seemed to have coiled back substantially after its 1982 victory after which it took 12 years to bounce back to the back again.

Pakistan won the Champions Trophy thrice in 1978, 1980 and 1994 respectively as well as six silvers in 1983, 1984, 1988, 1991, 1996 and 1998. In the Asian games too had the Pakistani Hockey team faced victory with when it won in 1958 1962, 1970, 1974, 1978, 1982, 1990 and in 2010.

By early 2000 i.e. in 2002, 2003, and 2004, it was only Bronze that the team could afford to bring home. The victories of the team during the 50s were greatly hailed for being reflective of the fighting spirit of a new nation even on the field.


During the 90s, the game was already losing media attention. The intense participation and engagement of the youth from the schools and colleges also declined. It was cricket which was getting all the attention, both of the media as well as the mass. Hockey was losing the attention it deserved as the national sport as more and more people took to playing, watching, and engaging in cricket. The concentration of all the medals and the honour that the team brought home is in the 90s, further emphasizing the glories of its golden age. Despite its gradual demise over the year, hockey was and still is the national game of the country.

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