Mon. Jan 30th, 2023
Shahbaz Ahmed

Shahbaz Ahmed played hockey in the mid-nineties in the Mohammedan jersey. After 27 years, that Shahbaz is playing hockey again in Dhaka! Not a dream, but reality.

The ‘Maradona of Hockey’ fell down with a stick in Maulana Bhasani Stadium this afternoon. But it is not a competitive match, the former national hockey players divided into two teams and played a friendly match in Dhaka today, Shahbaz Ahmed, who won the World Cup for Pakistan, played for both teams.

Shahbaz, standing in the middle fifties, did not run much in the match. Played standing up a lot. But when he got the ball, flash the old days right. Many people were overwhelmed by what they saw.

The match was organized in honor of the former world champion of hockey. He was given a guard of honor by the former players of Bangladesh. Before the start of the match, the players of the two teams held up sticks, through which Shahbaz entered the field. He played for both the red and green teams and wore the number 10 jersey. Shahbaz Ahmed was the captain of both the teams.

The former world star was greeted with flowers before the match. The best players of two consecutive World Cups of Hockey also received gifts by playing this memorable friendly match in Dhaka. He was given a Punjabi and a saree for his wife by former Bangladesh players. Bangladesh jersey was also given to Shahbaz. The number 10 on the back of the jersey and Shahbaz’s name written on it.

Shahbaz was overwhelmed with such honor. He expressed his feelings like this, “It’s nice to think that Dhaka has not forgotten me.” Whenever I come here, I feel like I have come to relatives. Dhaka has always embraced me. I will never forget the respect given today.

Shahbaz added, “Once I played with many of these players for – against. I am thankful that Bangladesh Hockey Federation has organized this. I had a very good day.

He also made fun of a bit. Former national team striker Rafiqul Islam Kamal came to the field wearing pajama-Punjabi. Shahbaz made fun of him and said, ‘Have you come to do a show on TV? Won’t play the match?’ Kamal’s reply was like, ‘What else will I play?’ You are the biggest star here. I have come to watch your game.

Later, however, Kamal came down to the field after wearing the jersey. After he came down, his team (Green) scored two goals to draw the match. Later Kamal was saying, ‘It’s really a wonderful day. It is great to play with a legend like Shahbaz bhai.

For former national team player Mahbub Ehsan Rana, the result of the match is not a big deal. He is happy to play again with a legend like Shahbaz Ahmed, to honor him. At the end of the match, he was saying, ‘Shahbaz bhai himself was saying to organize something. So we made the arrangements in a hurry. The hockey family of Bangladesh is proud to honor him.

Since Shahbaz will be playing, many former players flock to the Maulana Bhasani Stadium. Mirazul Ahsan came from Faridpur. The attendance of former players was quite good.

Biozid Haider, Sajeed Adel, Kazi Abu Zafar Tapan, Mahbub Harun, Abdullah Piru, Irteza Quader Guddu, Mamunur Rashid, Jamil Parvez Lulu, Ashiqullah Ayesh, Mahbub Ehsan Rana, Russel Khan Bappi, Ariful Haque Prince, Maududur played in two teams. Rahman Shubo, Tabib A Noor, Shahidullah Khokon, Shahidullah Titu, Zahid Hossain Raju, Rafiqul Islam Kamal, Hedaytul Islam Rajeev, Rajeev Ahmed, Mirazul, Moshiur Rahman Biplab, Rahul Roy, Shawkat Ali etc.