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Controversies can wait (2/4/2009)
--K. Arumugam
Controversies Can Wait

The ongoing Punjab Gold Cup may well enter the record books as one of the well-followed and well organized hockey events in India.

Indian results, crowd and media response so far has been satisfactory. Not often did India get invited to invitational tournaments in which both Europe’s superpowers, Germany and Holland, participate. That both the teams brought some new faces cannot out rightly take away the credit that India owes.

As the first leg came to close, India stands a fair chance of reaching the finals.

It is a surprising bit of reality that India hardly organizes tournaments on its soil. Despite the tall claim of country’s National Game, the public hardly get to see Indian hockey teams in tournaments on Indian soil. Drab test series are a different proposition.

In the last 15 years, India barely organized 12 tournaments!!!

Therefore success of this tournament is very important, more so against the fact that the Punjab Gold Cup will well become an annual affair from now onwards.

India might be loathe to organize tournaments, still, India won medal of any hue in almost all the tournaments staged on its soils except twice (2005 and 1996 Champions Trophy) in the last 15years. There is therefore every possibility now India will be among the medals, if not the top slot.

Before the tournament, Chief Coach Harendra made it clear that if India wins this tournament that will be a turning point for the Indian hockey. While elaborating his view, he emphasized the need for giving the public a boost, which they deserve after the Chile Chiller.

Quite true.

Therefore, it is hoped both the parties – coach Harendra and selector Aslam Sher Khan, whose view claimed to have upset a section of senior players in the team – can exercise restraint. The current Indian team has two managers, Col. Balbir Singh and Ashok Kumar (Technical Manager) and it is time for them to extent whatever support chief coach Harendra and his team needs.

Both Harendra and Aslam have said what they wanted to. It is better now no further flames are generated. The 18 players in the team, coaching staff and their needs and demands are more important than anything else.

Controversies can wait.

Note: The system of selectors, an obsolete practice in the rest of the hockey world, should be dispensed away with in India as well. Seleectors in India are ceremonial posts, by and large coaches select the team, then why this avoidable practice?

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two mistakes don't make a right
by Ram Ratan on 2/5/2009 6:05:14 PM
Khan is wrong, agreed. Harendra abused him by name on a tv news i saw. i did not like that also. Coach also unnecessarily spoke too much, including personal attack of a former player of khan's stature. Khan upset the team. coach upset everybody's mood.
selectors are a waste bucket for expense...
by stoneman hockey on 2/5/2009 1:44:44 PM
I was informed by one of my friend (who was a asst. coach of national team) that the selectors were a basket of ****. They just come for the sake of selection on the last day of selection trials and sign the paper and go.. The same goes with Mr. AK Khan, who was once upon a time selector for IHF.. He hardly knew the names of the players face to face. How can these people select a team even when they dont even witness a domestic tournament or if at all they only come for the finals of nationals to claim their TA/DA. If Germans have brought their younger side... then why did he not suggest our Junior Indian team to participate in the tournament? so that they could get an experience for playing Junior World Cup in June 2009...