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Aug 25

Written by: Sundeep Misra
Thursday, August 25, 2011 


Are there any sane voices left? Or are they only aligned to the Indian Hockey Federation and Hockey India?

It’s extremely sad that Indian hockey today stands at the cross roads – a victim of official apathy. This is what was feared when the Sports Minister Ajay Maken decided to call both the warring parties on the table and told them to shake hands. Maken probably never realized that hockey may not suffer from talent but it definitely has a paucity of the right people on top.

Sandeep Singh and Sardara Singh left the camp 48 hours back to attend to family issues. As it turned out both don’t want to play for India. They have issues with the national coach Michael Nobbs and also issues with the Camp Director Sukhbir Singh Grewal.

But with 48 hours and counting, not a single hockey player, administrator, sports ministry has issued a statement. Worse, not a single former hockey player has uttered a word or issued a statement that both these players are in the wrong and should return back to the team.

What Maken has done brilliantly is create a wedge with the result that none of the federations now want the other to be successful. The IHF watches the whole drama from outside and probably hopes that the Indian team crashes to defeat in the Asian Champions Trophy in Ordos. And only then would they come out of their holes to roar their outrage to the waiting media – We told you the selection of the players and the selection of the coach was wrong. They would very conveniently forget what happened in Santiago, Chile before the 2008 Beijing Olympics. They would very easily delete the chapters on a secretary accepting bribes to induct players into the Indian team.

Hockey India is probably worse off. The day those five players – Sardara Singh, Sandeep Singh, Arjun Halappa, Adrian D’Souza and Prabhjot Singh attended the World Series Hockey function – they should have been given a golden handshake and told “Thank you for your services to Indian hockey.”

The World Series Hockey is one of the better things to happen in the country. But the way it is being done is probably the wrong way for a tournament to start off. The simple fact here again is that hockey is an amateur sport. Olympics and World Championships are the life line for the sport. If you are not in the Olympics, you are nowhere in World Hockey. Why can’t WSH take the entire community and launch the league? Why should it be with the IHF or the HI? It’s a great idea that can stand alone. And once it gets the approval of the International Hockey Federation, it would only thrive. It should have been the Indian Hockey League with foreign players and then slowly built itself on a world platform. Being aligned in India has its issues. And hockey as a sport is suffering because of that.

Why has Dhanraj Pillay who has the good of Indian hockey embedded in his ‘soul’ not said a word to the players or offer sane advice?

Where has the stringent voice of Harendra Singh who offered to resign when India lost to Malaysia in the semi-finals of the Asian Games not raising his voice and saying ‘Players should play for India. India comes first.’

Why is Vasudevan Bhaskaran, who is the first to throw his hat into the ring when a coaching job comes along as quiet as a mouse in Chennai?

Where has the know-all KPS Gill gone? Who does he play for – IHF, HI or India?

Why is Ajay Maken so quiet? For sure he is not advising the Indian government on the Anna Hazare issue. Mr Sports Minister, you should have been first off the blocks in ensuring that the players return to the India camp.

Why is Pargat Singh not holding a press conference with both the bodies (since he is not a member of either of them) and ensuring that sanity returns?

Where are the Ashok Kumar’s, Zafar Iqbal’s, Ajit Pal Singh’s of the world? Are they only interested in ensuring that good foreign coaches never last in this country or do they have any feeling that hockey needs to win not them or IHF or HI?

Why selectors like Dilip Tirkey, Col Balbir Singh are mum about the issue?

Where have Narinder Batra and RK Shetty gone? Is this the way RK Shetty runs the multi-million dollar business of Religare? Is this why he is on the Board of Directors of Religare? Mr Shetty has ambitions of running and pouring money into Indian hockey but he cannot ask two players to return to the camp for the sake of India.

The simple fact is that nobody cares anymore. These are all individuals looking after their personal interests. For them Indian hockey is just another unidentified corpse lying in a morgue. But tell these former players to be managers and coaches of the national team and they would be on the first flight to New Delhi.



Tags:

3 comment(s) so far...

Re: Where have all the sane voices gone or are there any?

Sir... Mr Shetty is out of India.. Mr Batra is busy in his work.. He only msgs "Sorry in a meeting will call back later." Former players are not interested to comment as they want to keep each group happy - IHF becoz of WSH (money ) and HI becoz of power. If sports minister cannot say anything then how can national selectors. Only poor players are going to suffer...Regards, Amitesh

By Amiteshsrivastava on   Thursday, August 25, 2011

Re: Where have all the sane voices gone or are there any?

It is a tough situation. Sandeep and Sardara are vital for India. It is terrible for the coach. I can't comment from a distance. I am always on the players' side but I also stand for complete discipline, particularly in a team game. Maybe, all this nonsense at the top is percolating down to the team. Which is why it is important to have systems in place and at least 50 players: India blues and whites and so on. Let's see what happens in a few weeks on the turf.

But, my friend, the old question: who is telecasting the matches??

Who runs DD Sports? Looks like some fourth standard drop-out from a municipal school with very bad free lunch has been given the responsibility.

DD gets more absurd, bizarre and unwatchable by the day. It is the most irrelevant channel in the idiot box and that is saying a lot!! Most things get better but DD miraculously has got worse. If you know the drop-out, please talk to him and maybe get him a decent meal!!!

Jai Hind

By Rajendar Menen on   Friday, August 26, 2011

Re: Where have all the sane voices gone or are there any?

Its not all about speaking against the federation or Govt or Players? You have to understand when ever Dhanraj Pillay or any body speaks people takes in wrong side.....If we need to understand the players we have to have a cool headed mind to tackle the problem......Every problem has a solution if u look positive side........Your job is to give fair and transparent news to public and let them decide who is wrong & who is right?..Do not be judgmental? Its a discipline, dedication transparency, commitment and off course LOVE for our NATIONAL SPORTS from both side Federation As well as the players side...& I think trust has broken...Lets hope for better....All we want to see India in Olympic...thats should be our motto....We need a ANNA HAZARE IN INDIAN SPORTS>>>>TO CLEANUP THE MESS>>>>NOT PLAYERS?OFFICIALS OR WRITERS............

By Harendra Singh on   Friday, August 26, 2011

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