Cricket has got dominance over other sports in Pakistan. Hockey, Tennis, Squash, Karate, and all other sports, despite having the World Class stars, have been suppressed under the influence of Cricket.
Cricket is perennially broadcasted on several multiple channels. For this reason, cricketers are well-known across the vast globe. Whereas, the other sports are rarely seen on the broadcasting channels. Hockey, Tennis and different sports stars are rarely known.
Despite winning historic titles and creating the world records, athletes other than cricket are far behind the cricketers. On the other hand, when a bowler grabs a hat-trick or a batsman scores a ton, he is remembered for years.
Considering the scenario, the athletes across Pakistan have complained and wishes the sports and Olympics get equal importance as that of cricket.
Neglected athletes complain: Cricket achievements matter, our historic milestones don’t
Sadi Abbasi, Karateka:
“If a cricketer scores a century or gets a hat-trick, people remember it for years. Athletes from other sports achieve historic milestones, yet no one cares. Why do we have these double standards?” questioned karateka Saadi Abbas.
“A cricketer earns in millions and his health is looked after but what do we get? Don’t we play in the same country? We have to pay out of our pockets for everything. This attitude towards other sports needs to change,” added Abbas who won a gold medal in last year’s South Asian Games yet few would remember that.
Mohammad Asif, Pakistan’s top cueist:
“A cricketer who plays a couple of matches gets more attention than someone who brings world titles to Pakistan. This shouldn’t be the way to treat your athletes,” he said.
“We don’t get the facilities cricketers to get yet our performances are there for everyone to see. If we get support and facilities, then we’ll do even better.”
Adnan Zakir, the hockey player:
“We give all the limelight to cricket and they get all the sponsors. Hockey, despite being the country’s national sport, gets neglected. One reason for the decline in hockey is our obsession with cricket and as a result, no one is investing in hockey,” he said.
“Hockey is one of the most skill-based sports in the world. You need to dedicate your life to this sport if you want to excel. It is not easy to be a hockey player. If you don’t support hockey players, then it will demoralise them.
Aisam ul Haq, the shining name from Pakistan’s tennis:
“Games such as tennis, squash, and football aren’t discussed anymore. We need to change this attitude. We need to appreciate athletes from other sports as well. The corporate [world] and the government should think about shifting focus to other sports now,” he said.
“Cricket is already earning through various other means. We need to come forward and start supporting athletes from other sport.”
Sara Mehboob, The Tennis Star:
“While we already suffer due to a lack of coverage to smaller sports, zero coverage to female sports adds more insult to the injury. If you show cricket all the time then it is natural that sponsors will tilt towards cricket,” she said.
“The government must make sure that any athlete who is doing good for the country is not neglected and is properly looked after.”
Kulsoom Hazara, The Karate Wonder:
“I want to appeal to all the sponsors and government that they should give us equal treatment. We have won several medals in the past and with continuous support from the corporate sector and government, we can bring more laurels,” Hazara said.
Lt. Gen (retd) Arif Hassan, President of Pakistan Olympic Association:
“We managed to get some deal for Abbas. It may not be as attractive but something was better than nothing. The corporate [world] must come forward to support every sport,” he said.