Mumtaz Khan is a pacy player in the forward line, with the potential to serve Indian women’s hockey for years. The hurdles she negotiated in life to become worthy of a junior India jersey at the FIH Junior Women’s World Cup, finding the road to the goal appears far less stressful for the 18-year-old.
India lost the bronze medal match to England, winning hearts for a fighting display throughout the tournament held at Potchefstroom (South Africa). Mumtaz was on target twice in regulation time, hoodwinking the defenders with quick thinking, faster reflexes in a tie to decide third place.
England won 5-2 (3-0 in penalties) for the bronze, amidst the joy are likely to recall a tearaway on the Indian wing. Temperament for a big-match situation increases her chances of inclusion among the senior India probables. Blessed with raw speed and stick skills, exposure will make her sharper.
Lucknow’s Mumtaz has faced such adversity every step in her life, just to play hockey growing up in a large family whose source of income was selling vegetables, that sizing up the situation on the hockey pitch in a sport played at blinding pace, will be easier on her nerves.
The fourth child among seven siblings, Mumtaz had a lot on her hands beyond studies or recreation, supporting her dad Hafiz Khan who sold vegetables in a mandi. The daughter-father bond helped her later in life. Sport was not in the frame amidst a family’s struggle to make ends meet.