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2008 Azlan Shah Cup
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No Bronze for India, but Rani Devi gets an award (4/27/2008)
--K.Arumugam
So, its again disappointment for India. 65 minutes of good game, as happened twice here already, could not take the Indians anywhere, give them any solace. India went up 1-0 with Rajwinder Kaur seeing the ball in the net in the first half (28th minute), but an unwanted tackle very much off from the danger area gave a life to struggling Netherlands Antilles.

That one chance was lapped it up by the alert Antilles players. Once the equalizer came in through an indirect conversion -- that was after India wasted six penalty corners, and clock ran 65 minutes -- they had no difficulty in taking the proceedings to extra time. It was extra pain for the Indians who were extrordinarily, and for once, played a match of character. Their moves were not hapazard, but out of well orchestrated ones.

A couple of minutes into the extra time, the methodical Antilles team earned their second panalty corner of the day, and as luck would have it, their defender's shot was not lethal but it turned so as it richotted off Subhadra Pradhan's stick.

Kaushik certainly failed in his ambition of taking women to the Olympics, but things did not go the way he would have liked. It is a bit amazing man of his stature could not foresee the shortcomings of his team, and the ever evolving other world. He need to do lot of homework in the coming days. He might dwell on technical things that did not work, but for those who witnessed it all here in the lush green turf, it is clear the girls are far removed from fast moving western world.

Everyone including this writer had no clue about the potentialities of Netherlands Antilles team before the tournament started but they came very close to reaching the final but for losing out to an another emerging team in Belgium.

There is therefore an urgent need to monitor the other world than managing the body politics of the Indian sports administration.

Speaking to s2h, Richard Charlesworth said the States team has been preparing for this day last four years. Implicit in his statement is how planning is important for making teams win.

He said if the people in the policy decision wants India in the next Olympics, which is always a reality, they should put in place a system right now.

But within half an hour of him saying this, I ran into Amrit Bose, Manager here, who volunteered to say this. "Half of these girls won't be there in the next camp". I did not ask her why. Because i want to hear the reasons either from the coaches or from the players. After all, they are concerned about the game. >p> The pity here is, why can't technical people take such decisions. Why a honorary secretary of the Federation has to assert in major technical matters.

It ultimately appears if the team is rusty it is because the team lacked match experience of high quality in its preparatory trail.

It is hoped the people concerned will show a serious concern on this matter instead of taking interest in matters that are of some other professionals' concern

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