Shahbaz Ahmed Sr - Legends of Hockey
Written by PHF   

A hockey player in the classic mould, he was undoubtedly one of the best, if not the best forward of his era.

In his decade-long career he was declared Best Player in as many 10 global events, more than any one in contemporary hockey. An admission of the fact that he was peerless.

A highly dexterous performer, he could leave the opposition defenses dazzled with the sheer brilliance of his moves.

There was no better sight than when he had the ball in front and gave it a run, dribbling pas opponent's defenses with sheer artistry at breathtaking speed.

He was absolutely lethal, if he got space or was not tackled physically. He was given a freewheeling role in the midfield in the 16th Champions Trophy, in which he was extremely effective in creating openings and also helping defense. From then on till his retirement after '96 Atlanta Olympics he continued playing in that style without restricting himself to the limitations of a corridor.



Shahbaz, did not leave the arena in a blaze of glory, and for that he had none but himself to blame.

Pakistan notched its worst-ever ranking in an Olympics at Atlanta due to his inciting a revolt and then doggedly insisting that he would not play unless he was restored as captain. Eventually, he opted to join the team un-conditionally but by then the damage had been done, and Pakistan had already been made a laughing stock in the hockey-playing world. That revolt would unfortunately sully his image for all times to come.