Hockey Indian General Secretary Narinder Batra said “If any player skips the national camp, we will be left with no option but to induct juniors for the Olympic qualifiers. It is for the players to make the choice, We cannot stop the players from playing wherever they want to. They all know that they would be playing in an event not sanctioned by the FIH and it is for them to decide what is in their best interests. It is not that we are announcing the dates of the national camp now, we had submitted our programme months in advance to the sports ministry for approval. The tentative date given for the camp to start was between December 11-15.”
“We know that the players will be at a loss if they do not play in the WSH. We are, in fact, in touch with some corporates to announce cash rewards for players of the team if it qualifies for the Olympics. That can happen only if they play and qualify for the London Olympics.” He added.
Something must read:
WSH: Nobbs need to tread a middle path –K. Arumugam
Ok Batra ji, agreed that Hockey India are planning to give cash rewards for the players of the team if it qualifies for the Olympics, but what about this “That can happen only if they play and qualify for the London Olympics”. What happens should they not qualify for the Olympics? What then? Are they not entitled to anything? So basically its the story of hanging the carrot and making one jump and not the story of one where you build steps so you do not have to jump to get the carrot. The built up stairs make sure you get there.
What about the other turf game – the one being played in the courts? I request HI to first try to settle the game which is being played in the court, FIH is recognizing the HI as sole body for Hockey administration in India, but what about the court, who is supreme in India, says IHF is legal body and HI should not have come in existence ever? Can that decision be ignored? How come HI expects its players to follow its rules when HI itself does not honour nor follow the law of the land ?
Ok, let us forget all this legal issues, and go back to cash rewards. I am sure this is the same HI who, a few months ago, offered a big cash reward of Rs.25,000/- to Indian team who returned from China as the champions of 1st Asian Champions Trophy. And it is the same HI, who agreed upon having a graded pay system for the players just before World Cup 2010, but it has not been implemented yet. Can we guess, how big the reward will be for qualifying for London 2012? is it $2million?
I agree all these are financial aspects, and most of you (administrators) will say, playing for country should be priority for players. Do you (administrators) really care about who plays for country, look at Baljit Singh, he lost his eye for country, but nobody cared for him. Forget about paying him the expenses for treatment or giving a respectful job in a government department. He was advised to retire, even after superior performance than the most of Indian goalies in domestic tournaments and even at national camps. He has been also awarded as best Goalkeeper in the recently concluded Beighton Cup 2011, which was won by Baljeet Singh’s domestic team Indian Oil.
And what about the Jr Asia Cup 2011 (held in June 2011), why did HI not send a team to play there, was really difficult to find 18 players to represent India? Or were those under-21 players busy in preparing for World Series Hockey and preferred club over country? They did not play Jr Asia Cup 2011, because Hockey India did not know who are the best players in this age category, cause they did not organize nationals. In short, there is no structure for spotting the talent forget about nurturing them.
Ok, now we assume that, you will give some cash rewards to the players who play Olympic Qualifiers (to be played in Feb in Delhi) and book the ticket for London 2012 Olympics, then what about the other players, who will be not in playing 18 of Olympic Qualifiers but are supposedly a vital part of the core group of 35 that will be training as hard as those who make the 18? Will you reward all of them? And what about those many others who made it to the earlier camps and those who just missed out… empty bowls only?
At the moment the only hope is the World Series Hockey, which has a structure, a motive, an agenda, and a qualified professional team, which can not only manage hockey effectively but also is spending to uplift infrastructure and change the face of Indian Hockey and Hockey in general.