Tuesday Aug 21, 2018
Former Pakistan tennis player Gul Hamid is now selling his trophies in order to live an honourable living.
The 68-year-old who has been playing tennis for the last 50 years won three ITF (International Tennis Federation) cups.
Speaking to Geo News he said, “I took my cups to sell to Arif Sahib, at Pakistan Sports Board, as I had no choice.”
Jobless and resources-less since over a decade, Hamid now lives with his second wife in a remote village near Wah Cantt. His first wife and children live in Karachi, whom he has to feed too.
“I prefer death over insults at the hands of a landlord who knocks at my door asking for rent, which I have been managing through thick and thin until now,” he says.
Hamid’s laurels include an ITF hat-trick from 2008 to 2010, the 1986 Oman Open and three gold medals for Pakistan Navy, where he served as a Petty Officer.
“It was really an amazing day of my life when I beat Krishna Bhopatti of India in the Oman Open in 1986. It was a big victory amidst an international crowd of fifteen thousand,” he adds.
Hamid says Bhopatti, whose son Mahesh Bhopatti is currently an international tennis star even asked him to travel to India and train tennis players there.
“I thanked Bhopatti for the offer and told him I need to train our children in Pakistan,” he says.
Recalling his golden days through plastic coated newspaper clippings and commendations spread on a charpoyee, Hamid said he had has requested Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Prime Minister Imran Khan to fix a reasonable monthly stipend for him or give him at least some low-grade job like a groundsman.
“I am 68 now, and it’s probably the time for me and my wife to sit on Mussala (praying mat) and not running around for a living,” he adds.