Aiming to outwit India in the Champions Trophy semifinals, the Pakistan hockey team has devised a rather controversially-titled 9-11 strategy which they plan to unleash at the Kalinga Stadium, in Bhubaneshwar on Saturday.
“We will go with our 9-11 strategy against India tomorrow (Saturday),” Pakistan coach Shahnaz Sheikh said, expecting some raised eye brows.
“Wait, don’t misunderstand me it’s not that 9-11 which you are thinking. It’s a strategy that we have adopted. By 9-11 I mean we will attack with nine players leaving behind two at the back and defend with 11 players. So I call it 9-11,” said the classy center-forward of yesteryears, who was a member of Pakistan’s silver-medal winning team in 1972 Munich Olympics team.
9-11 is usually referred to the infamous terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York. On September 11, 2001, the world was rocked when a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks were launched by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda upon the United States in New York City and the Washington, DC, metropolitan area.
The attacks, which killed 2,996 people and caused at least USD 10 billion in property and infrastructure damage, was carried out by 19 al-Qaeda terrorists, who used four hijacked passenger airliners to blow up the twin towers of the World Trade Centre and on Pentagon, the headquarters of United States Department of Defence.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan coach said an Indo-Pak encounter at the knockout stages of a world event is good for hockey in both the nations.
“I am very happy that India and Pakistan are playing each other in the semifinals of a world level tournament. It is good for India-Pakistan hockey,” Sheikh said.
India will face Pakistan in the second semifinal of the prestigious eight-nation tournament on Saturday, while in the first last-four match world champions and five-time defending champions Australia will square up against Olympic champions Germany.