To mark the World Cup Hockey Tournament being held in Barcelona (SPAIN), the Pakistan Post Office is issuing a Commemorative Postage Stamp of 20-Paisa denomination on 24-10-1971. Hockey is the only major game in the world, which remains practically forgotten between one Olympics and the next. None of the International Tour-naments outside the Olympics, assures the winner of World supremacy. Bad-minton has the Thomas Cup, Football, the World Cup, and Tennis the Davis Cup, but hockey has nothing compar-able to such honour.
Pakistan, being the World leaders in hockey felt its responsibility to keep the World’s interest alive in the game of hockey. With this end in view,. Pakis-tan had proposed that International World Cup Tournament be held at La-hore in February 1971; the Federation of International Hockey appreciated this idea and accorded its whole-hearted app-roval, due to unavoidable circumstances, the proposed tournament could not be held in February 1971. And the venue has since been changed from Lahore to Barcelona by the International Fede-ration.
The history of this game is closely linked with the history of the Indo-Pak Sub-continent. In pre-Independence days, the Indian hockey teams used to take part in World Olympics, and whatever glory they won in that period must be shared in equal by Pakistan and India, because quite a few players of the All India teams hailed from areas which are now a part of Pakistan. After Independence, however, Pakistan and India fielded their own teams and vied with one another for World supremacy in this game.
In the early years Pakistan suffered reverses at the hands of India but later Pakistan made gradual progress in im-proving their technique until she was rewarded by winning the Silver Medal in the Melbourne Olympics and thereby gaining International recognition in the game in 1956. Pakistan’s victory in 1958 Tokyo, Asian Games, served as a forerunner for the 1960 Rome Olympics in which Pakistan won the Gold Medal. In 1962 Pakistan successfully defended the Asian Crown in defeating India by two goals to nil.
Although Pakistan’s performance in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics was technically better than that in 1960 Rome Olympics, the Gold Medal and World Title was nevertheless lost to India. Thereafter a gradual decline of this game was no-ticed in this country, which resulted in the further loss of the Asian Title to India in 1966.
In the International sphere, hockey had since taken great strides. Australia, West Germany and Kenya trained and fielded formidable teams for the Mexico Olympics of 1968. The Pakistan Hockey Federation, under the able Presidentship of Air Marshal Nur Khan, planned an assault on Mexico like a war operation. An International hockey festival was organised at Lahore as a trial of the strength of Pakistan. By virtue of this, Pakistan recaptured the Gold Medal at the Mexico Olympics in 1968.
In token of taking a leading role for promotion of the game of hockey, Pakis-tan was awarded the LEAUTY CUP. It is to further the cause of hockey, therefore, that a World Cup tournament was initiated by Pakistan. Some ten lea-ding countries from all over the world are taking part. Teams will be fielded by West Germany, Holland, France and Spain from Europe. Australians having beaten New Zealand have qualified to take part. Besides these, three teams from Asia on the basis of results obtained in the Asian Games in Bangkok, viz. Pakistan, India and Japan will be there.
Pakistan has donated a beautiful trophy for this World contest (the World Cup), which has been sent to the Fede-ration Internationale de Hockey (F.I.H.)