Sports in Pakistan

Pakistan is a sport-enthusiastic country. Ever since Pakistan achieved independence, it has attained success in a variety of sports. Despite not having as many facilities as some of the developed countries, Pakistan has managed to compete against them.

In hockey, Pakistan has won a world record four world cups. In addition to that, Pakistan has also won 3 Olympics gold medals, three Champions Trophy, 3 Asia Cups and 8 Asian Games gold medals. Pakistan’s Sohail Abbas holds the record for scoring most international goals by any player.

Pakistan Sports

In cricket, Pakistan won a test match in its very first series against India. It also won a test match in its first tour of England. It is in great contrast to India, which had to wait for almost two decades before winning its first test. Pakistan has remained among the top ranked cricket teams for most of its history. During the 1980s, Pakistan was the only team that offered any challenge to the mighty West Indies. Pakistan won the world cup in 1992. Pakistan had also won the T20 world cup in 2009. Pakistan also holds some teams and individual records in cricket. Imran Khan is regarded as one of the greatest all-rounders of all time. Zaheer Abbas was one of those who revolutionised ODI batting. Hanif Mohammad was the master of playing long innings. Javed Miandad mastered the art of strike rotation. Two Ws (Wasim and Waqar) formed the most threatening new ball pair. Shoaib Akhtar bowled the fastest delivery in international cricket. Saqlain Mushtaq was the fastest to 100 ODI wickets. Shahid Afridi has hit the most number of sixes in ODI cricket. Muhammad Yousuf made the record for most runs in a calendar year.

In squash, Pakistan has had enormous success. Hashim Khan was the first one to create dominance. He won British Open 7 times. Azam Khan won it four times. Mohibullah Khan, Roshan Khan and Qamar Zaman won it once. Jehangir Khan was the most successful of all. He won British Open a record ten times and World Open 6 times. He remained unbeaten for five years, winning 555 games during that time, which is a world record for any sport. Jansher Khan took over from him. He won British Open 6 times and World Open 8 times.

Pakistan has had success in other sports too. Muhammad Yousuf was the world champion in Snooker in 1994. Pakistan was among the top Asian nations in athletics in the 1960s and 1970s. Abdul Khaliq held the Asian records for 100m and 200m. Pakistan has won medals in boxing and wrestling in Olympic Games in addition to winning medals in Asian and Commonwealth games. Pakistan’s Aisam-ul-Haq has remained among top 10 doubles tennis players.

Over the past 2-3 decades, the standard of sports in Pakistan has fallen. It has been due to lack of interest by governments. Pakistan’s recent past success has shown that the potential is there and with some patronizing, Pakistan can once again achieve a lot of success in a variety of sports.