Pakistan is a country which loves aggressive sports. Field hockey is the national game of Pakistan and the Pakistani players whether old or new all played the game keeping their country in mind. Aggressive games were played with only one single goal and that was to see the Pakistan hockey team right at the top.
Sohail Abbas is a drag flicker of the Pakistan team and is even called the world’s best penalty corner specialist. His passion for hockey started at a very young age. He was born into a family where sports were running in their blood. His father was a cricketer and so sports was a vital part of his life. His uncle Safdar Abbas was a hockey player who scored a vital goal against Argentina in the 1973 world cup. Safdar was only 16 years old and he became Sohail’s inspiration and sport icon.
Sohail was educated in Habib Public school In Karachi. This is a school which has been known for producing many great Pakistani hockey players as Hockey is taught as a subject here. Sohail was a penalty specialist and played for the Under 18 Pakistan hockey squad.
His entry into the Pakistan hockey team has been a very dramatic one. He was taken into the junior squad after a great performance in the 1995 Quetta Junior hokey U18 championship. After that he was dropped and made it back to the team when the played the third junior Asia cup hockey tournament in Singapore. He finally managed to find a spot in the team in the year 1997 only to be dropped again.
1998 changed fortunes for both Sohail Abbas and the Pakistan national team. This player got his big break in 1998 and since then he hasn’t looked back. In his first year he scored 20 goals and helped Pakistan win the Azlan Shah cup. He was also a vital instrument in the silver medal win at the Asia cup the same year.
This former Pakistan field hockey player has many records in his belt. He is a member of a very elite squad of hockey players. Only nine players are there on this list. He joins this squad after scoring a double hat-trick. Another record that he holds is for the number of goals scored by a single player in a calendar year. In 1999 he scored 60 goals and broke the records of former Pakistan captain Hassan Sardar and international player Paul Litjens.
Another record that he shattered that was held by Dutch player Paul Litjens for over 22 years was the number of goals scored by a penalty specialist. The 274 goals scored by Sohail Abbas are by far the highest number of goals scored by a penalty specialist.
His entry and exit from the team in his early career was in plenty but his focus and aggression got him a place back on the team. This very same focus aggression and skill made him the world’s best penalty specialist and gave him his permanent seat in the history of Pakistani hockey.
Sohail Abbas retired in the year 2004 with a whole lot of records under his belt. Even today this never slowing down player is busily involved with Pakistan hockey. He is married and is now leading his family through the tournament of life.