No one seems to be paying much attention, but it seems that the Pakistan hockey team is slowly but surely making a comeback. Playing in the 20th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament – one of the toughest tournaments where every team plays every other team – Pakistan’s boys in green are surprising team after team, most recently beating India 3-1.
But the real surprise is that their performance is consistent. They have actually lost two of the five games they have played, but they their performance has been consistent and, I would say, consistently improving. Consistency is not a virtue you ever associate with Pakistan. Hence the surprise.
Pakistan did get a drubbing from the Australians and also lost to Great Britain (but with a smaller margin and a closer game) but the ones we are beating are all significant teams – the match to go is against hosts Malaysia. Sure, this is not mind-blowing performance, but it is now consistently better-than-expected performance. And that is what really counts.
Beyond whatever happens in this one tournament, the larger question one has to ask – also keeping Pakistan’s performance in the recent Asian Games in mind – is whether the Pakistan Men’s hockey team is making a comeback to glory? And if so, if anyone noticing? (And here is the Zen question of the day: If the team makes a comeback but no one notices, does that count as a comeback?)