Former hockey champion Naveed Alam died of blood cancer at the age of 47, his daughter has confirmed. He was a member of Pakistan’s winning team during the 1994 world cup.
Alam was diagnosed with cancer earlier this month, and underwent chemotherapy at Shaukat Khanum Hospital, Lahore. However, as his health deteriorated, he was placed in an intensive care unit, where he took his last breath.
His family revealed earlier that the former athlete was feeling unwell for a few days and went to Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital for a checkup where doctors diagnosed him with cancer.
The Pakistan Cricket Board also expressed grief on Alam’s demise.
The PCB, on behalf of its fans, cricketers and officials, expresses its sadness over the passing of former hockey olympian Naveed Alam (member 1994 Hockey World Cup winning team) and offers its sincerest condolence to Naveed's family and friends.
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) July 13, 2021
PTI’s Senator Faisal Javed Khan also tweeted about Naveed Alam’s death, claiming it was a “Huge loss”.
Saddened to hear about the passing of former hockey Olympian and member of the winning team of the 1994 World Cup Naveed Alam sb. May ALLAH rest his soul in peace and give enough strength to his family and friends to cope with this huge loss. Ameen pic.twitter.com/T9iJVhzZtc
— Faisal Javed Khan (@FaisalJavedKhan) July 13, 2021
After retiring from the Pakistani team, Naveed Alam coached Bangladesh’s and Chinese hockey teams.
He also filled in as director of development in the Pakistan Hockey Federation before he headed out in a different direction following a difference of opinion on a few issues.
It must be mentioned that fellow Olympians Ahmed Alam, Samiullah Khan and Danish Kaleem have requested the government to fund Naveed Alam’s treatment.
Read more: Remembering hockey king Mansoor Ahmed
PM Imran Khan was asked to make special arrangements for Naveed Alam’s treatment; Samiullah said he was exceptionally disheartened to learn about his disease.
Danish Kaleem said he, Ahmed Alam and Naveed Alam had remained flatmates for seemingly forever. “Henceforth, I demand that the government finance his treatment,” he said.
His sister, Nargise told the media that Naveed required Rs4,000,000 for treatment and his financial condition was not steady.
Members of the Olympian Forum, in which the 47-year-old was an active member, were arranging funds.
However, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar later announced that the expense of Alam’s treatment would be borne by the Punjab government.
Alam had also served as Pakistan’s hockey team manager at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008. Pakistan had finished eighth at the 2008 Olympics after which he remained caught up in a legal battle over the PHF elections in which Qasim Zia and Asif Bajwa were elected as president and secretary, respectively.