My feature published in Polo Times (world’s leading polo magazine) in its April 2011 issue
Pakistan may not be regarded as a major hub of the sport as compared to Argentina and England, but it boasts great polo tradition going back many centuries. And, in my opinion the game of kings is responsible for the country’s best sporting ambassador of today.
Far more famous than Pakistan’s recent polo achievements is the country’s ability to produce world-class sportsmen in squash, hockey and cricket. However the country has not come close to winning a global hockey title since 1994, has no players in the top 15 of the squash rankings and has not even finished in the top six in the last two Cricket World Cups.
This sorry state of affairs has been compounded in the last 12 months by the shameful match-fixing scandal involving three of the country’s most prominent cricket internationals.
Meanwhile, the country’s top handicapped polo player, five-goaler Hissam Ali Hyder, has been travelling the world playing in Argentina, England and most recently Dubai where he proudly displays the Pakistan flag on his horses.
His father and grandfather were both prominent polo players in Pakistan. Despite his success, the remains very much an unsung hero.
Cricketers Mohammad Aamer, Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif have tarnished the image of Pakistan. I think what we need is a few more Hissams.