Thursday, January 21, 2010

Blog: Indian hockey - where the loophole exactly lies?

Indian hockey - where the loophole exactly lies?

Hockey – the national sports of India has just overcame one of its worst deadlocks. After a long traumatic ruckus between the players and Hockey India, the players agreed to go for practice session, after a long 6 days break. The deadlock ended as Sahara, who is also the sponsor of Indian hockey team, proclaimed to immediately release Rs1 crore for the team. The impasse was regarding the payment and incentives of players, which the administration hadn't made to the players for their performance in 2009. Negotiations were on and off several times but every time it ended with no result. Sometimes the players got ready to attend the practice session but the next day again they were seen angry. Eventually it ended up with a solution, to which both the sides agreed.

Now the question which comes out here is that, is it the mismanagement or the players' fault, which is responsible for all this? These issues are not of that much importance actually. The most important thing to be considered is that was it really necessary to create a disturbance when the world cup is just to begin. Are the players right at their end to do so or were they be completely blamed for all what has happened? Would it not affect the teams performance in the world cup? Why the management didn't pay the dues to the players, even when the next year has arrived. Is the board out of finances, and if that's the matter then what the government is there for? The all disputed episode seems like a puerile act. They all acted like a tyro country or team, making their debut in sports.

Staying away from the practice sessions just before the world cup will definitely affect the players' performance. On one hand the players seems to be correct for what they did, but it was not the right time to do so. On the other hand the management needs to pull up its socks and manage things in a much better way.

The whole episode will ruin the image of Indian sports and the management, at the world stage. It must have created a negative impact of Indian system and administration. The national game is not promoted upto the extent, to which it should be exactly promoted. When the cricket team can make it to the world cup final, can bag the world cup, why can't the hockey team. Though its our national game but it remains unpopular. Infact a few people know and remember the hockey players' names. And above all that they are not being paid their match fees, which added fuel to the flame.

A popular saying exactly fits here “It takes two to make a tango”. Both the players and management were equally responsible for the impasse. The management didn't function well, as well as the team didn't choose the right time create the ruckus.

Indian hockey is not that much popular like cricket. Players are far away from brand endorsements, not getting that much facilities. In precise the hockey players are not financially sound. A few months back our women national hockey team was made to return back to their homes by autorikshaw. There was no one to take care of the players, who represent our country. One could not even imagine in the wildest dream about such a condition of a national team. It happened in a country where the cricket board is the richest sports body in the world. Our cricket team make records and histories every now and then but I don't remember any such great achievement or such a big history created by Indian hockey players.

The reason is crystal clear, no one pays that much heed to the game. We create history in cricket because the players are getting N number of facilities and financial backup. It is believed that cricket is the only lucrative game in India. And due to the low and pathetic situation of hockey no one even dares to think about making a career in hockey. Most of the people and players are inclined towards cricket, tennis and other games, in which they see a bright future.

An unstable future is the biggest aghast for people who dare to think about stepping into hockey. I hardly remember any hockey player becoming DSP or getting any honourable government postion. But in cricket there are a lot of names. It can happen in hockey too, we can create history in hockey also, all we need is financial support and an assurance of a bright future. Above all the national sports needs a backup and promotion. The sports board should understand “ money makes the mare go”. And after that the players will play for money as well as for their country from within.

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