Friday, March 21, 2008
Indian Hockey and the Lost Glory !!!
Now there is huge hue & cry on all media on the state of affairs in Indian Hockey.. Everyone is firing in all guns! Some even went upto say National Shame. Whom is the shame for? Players? Administrators? Media? All of us?
I belive each one of us is. Yes I understand that the playing team is responsible for defeat. But we are the ones responsible for that playing team. We are the ones who made a mess of the Hockey administration in India, selection process is a laughing stock in India. The media has always been treating hockey as a lesser popular game.True its not a crowd puller as Cricket, Tennis. Who made cricket & Tennis crowd pullers? Apart from some brilliants to likes of kapil, Gavaskar, Sachin, Saurav, Dravid & Dhoni, etc. It’s the media again.
Everyone sidelined Hockey yet none is bothered. but we want India to win. We do all politics & favoritism, regionism when we choose talent. Amidst all this nonsense we get talents to the likes of Dhanraj, Dileep Tirkey, Prabjoth and some more. But then selectors are never at peace. Most players have constant fear of being thrown out team.
The fate of coaches is left alone than spoken. The great IHF (Indian Hockey Federation ) feels even 12 months is too long a term. Ridiculous you may shout. But it is the fact. Coaches have been instated & fired at the whims & fancies of the board within matter of months. Yet none complained, questioned. But when failure is obvious we don’t spare blaming anyone. But it all ends at that. Tomorrow is the same again. We still have one dictator Mr.Gill at the helm of affairs who believes “Team has lost but not I" ( its his words, mind you) who refuses to give up and literally dictated hockey in India. None dares to question him. And remind you we are sport loving democratic country whose national game is hockey.
if we sit back think, india lost the advantage as and when the match was being played on astro-turf which was new to Indian. We were used to playing on ground while this artificail turf was unknown and speed conquered technique. Yet Indians didn’t budge and believed in not adopting. And here is the result. Not even qualifying to Olympics after 80+ years of Hockey and being invincible in the Hockey with 8 consecutive golds at Olympics! It’s too true to be believed!
Even today India is strong in technique while erstwhile world believes in strategy and speed. We dribble for hours while opponents score with a quick pass and penalty conversion! Is it a rocket science to learn these tactics? Not at all ( atleast thatz what i believe. Given the fact that we have plenty of players with technique, temprament and power and all the other things comes secondary which can be learnt easily). Having said that all we need now is commitment and will to do it. Why not hire some one who knows it all and coach the team? Someone who has the commitment to bring past glory that truely belongs to India! I am talking of an able coach ( be it the great Ric Charlesworth or whoever)
Some people blame cricket for Hockey's downfall. why blame another game. Give as much importance as cricket to hockey and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the same young brigade cheering Hockey as well. It’s all in the approach and way media is managed, a game is marketed to the audience. if you can market Hockey league the way ICL or IPL ( Both cricket) is marketed, then there is nothing like it.
Its all in the appraoch and management of the game. Beginnings are always tough and we may feel we are fighting a loosing battle. but i believe in the end Hockey emerges a winner and so shall we!