Islahuddin - Legends of Hockey
Written by PHF   

Islahuddin was one of those outstanding right-wingers who could demolish a defense with sheer speed. To cap it he was a good scorer too.


Putting opposition defenses in disarray with lightning pace was Islah's main strength but not the only one. He made a vital contribution in defense too, as he used to rush at great speed to thwart the famed penalty strikers from Holland, Germany and Australia from taking a clean hit at the Pakistan goal. That required a fair amount of courage as strikers from those top hockey-playing nations have traditionally packed a mean punch.

Due to this dual role, he was an invaluable asset for the team and an architect of many its wins.

Islah has never been a kind of a man to let go, and that was not the last we heard of him. He had to come back, to have a say on the hockey destiny of the nation as an administrator. Having done a stint as manager in the early 80's he was called up to do duty again in an emergency prior to the 88 Olympics at Seoul, when Khalid Mehmood quit to on the eve of the Games.
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Islah went on to serve an uninterrupted four-year stint in this position, a Pakistan record. During this period the Asiad title was reclaimed at Beijing in 1990 and prior to that in 1989 the Asia Cup title retained amidst a hostile crowd at New Delhi.

Other international honors were a World Cup silver as manager in the 90 edition of the event to go with his '75 one as player and in the '78. The '92 Barcelona Olympics brought his term to an end with a bronze medal. The notable point of his term as manager was that, other than two Champions Trophy events, Pakistan never failed to win a medal at any global event after the first disappointment at Seoul in 1988.