Hissam Hyder, Pakistan’s leading polo player, got off to a flying start in the Royal Windsor Cup 2013, as Team Shalimar beat Team Emlor S8 – 7 in the opening match of the competition. Hissam scored 5 goals in the closely contested game and will now play Team Dell Park in their team’s next match on 5th June 2013.
The Royal Windsor Polo Cup is one of the most competitive and prestigious mid-goal polo tournaments in the world and features18 leading teams who are participating in this year’s competition. Hissam, the highest handicapped player in his team, is playing for Kassem Shafi’s Team Shalimar along with Vieri Antinori (5 handicap), Nicolas Antinori (4 handicap) and Kassem Shafi (0 handicap). The 12-15 goal tournament employs a group based format, with a duration of 5chukkers per match being played over a period of 3 weeks.
Speaking about his participation in the Royal Windsor Cup, Hissam said; “The Royal Windsor Cup is the world’s most distinguished mid-goal polo tournament. Many players consider winning the Royal Windsor as the pinnacle of their career due to the strength of the competition in the tournament. This year alone, there are a total of 25 players who have a handicap higher than 5, which will make winning this tournament a challenging task. But given our recent win, our team is positive about our chances and we look forward to consistently performing throughout the 3 weeks of the competition to secure a quarter-final berth.”
The Royal Windsor Cup is the oldest tournament played at Guard’s Polo Club. It was first played for in the Club’s inaugural year in 1955 and has been played for every year since when there was polo at Smith’s Lawn, the home of Guards Polo Club.The final of the tournament always proves to be an enjoyable display of high quality polo and is followed by an elegant carriage driving procession, historically performed in front of Her Majesty The Queen of England and His Royal Highness Prince Philip.
With a handicap of 6 goals, Hissam Hyder is presently regarded as one of Asia’s top polo players. Hissam has been named as the most valuable player in Pakistan on 6 different occasions and has represented the Pakistani Polo team officially in 3 different World Cups. Internationally he has participated in top, high goal tournaments such as the 2012 Dubai Trophy in England, the 2012 Cope Presidente and the 2011 Duke of Cornwall Trophy among many others. In addition to the Royal Windsor Cup, Hissam will be participating in the Archie David Cup 2013, a 4-8 goal tournament which commences from 7th June 2013.
About Hissam Hyder:
“In him, the country has an unsung ambassador who has literally galloped across the globe with the Pakistan flag” – Express Tribune
“Despite his success, he remains very much an unsung hero…I think what we need is a few more Hissams.” – Polo Times, April 2011 issue
Hissam Hyder is Pakistan’s leading polo player who has fast established himself as one of Asia’s rising polo stars. Born into a sports playing family in 1982, his father Irfan Ali Hyder and grandfather Brig. “Gussy” Hyder, were both prominent polo players, with a handicap of 4 goals and 1 goal respectively. Hissam has eclipsed them both with a handicap of 6 goals and is presently ranked in the top 5% of the world’s polo players.
Hissam started playing professional polo in 2001 at the age of nineteen and has since participated in the sport’s most prestigious local and international Polo tournaments.He has been named as the most valuable player in Pakistan on 6 different occasions and has been on the winning team of 7 National Polo Championships in Pakistan.
Internationally he has participated in top, high goal tournaments such as the 2012 Dubai Trophy in England, the 2011 Duke of Cornwall Trophy, the 2011 Valerie Halford Memorial Trophy, the 2010 Thai Polo Open and the 2012 Cope Presidente among many others. He has also participated in the final of the Estimulo in Argentina, unarguably one of the most competitive tournaments of the International polo circuit.
Hissam has also represented the Pakistani Polo team officially in 3 different World Cups. He participated in the qualifying stages of the 1999 World Cup held in India and the 2007 World Cup played in New Zealand. He also has the distinction of representing Pakistan in the main stage of the 2003 World Cup held in France.
Hissam has also been affiliated with some of the world’s most prestigious teams and has played alongside legendary polo players from around the globe. These include Memo Gracida, Player of the Centennial Era and Polo Hall of Fame inductee; Howard Hipwood, arguably the best English polo player ever and Bautista Heguy, another leading Argentinian 10-goaler.
He has also played professionally for the Hong Kong team and the Royal Jordanian team in International tournaments. In 2013 he will play for the Shalimar Polo Team in the UK, the Harilela Polo team in Thailand and UK, the Elevation Polo team in India and Argentina, the Tashan Polo team in UK, the Golden Falcons Polo team in UK and he will also represent either the Newage or Hataff Polo teams when they play in Pakistan.
With the lack of infrastructural support for polo in Pakistan, Hissam continues to finance his international career entirely from his own resources. Furthermore, Hissam is the only Pakistani professional player to have his own string of ponies available to him year-round. He maintains his stables in the United Kingdom and Argentina.
Hissam’s commitment to polo goes beyond being just a sportsman. He has used his affiliation with the sport, to raise funds for charities and other needy organizations. Most notably, he took part in various exhibition matches in Jordan to help the victims of the 2010 floods in Pakistan and is always willing to provide a helping hand to worthy causes. Quite apart from polo, Hissam is a passionate sportsman with an interest and good degree of ability for other sporting disciplines such as golf and tennis.
“Pakistan’s most outstanding player Hissam Ali Hyder…” – Daily Times