Aug 15, 2011

Hockey Week News Round Up 1

It was a week marred from injuries for Indian hockey team after Indian captain Arjun Halappa was ruled out of Asian Champions Trophy due to groin injury. Captain Arjun joins Shivendra Singh, Tushar Khandekar, Bharat Chikara and Dhananjay Mahadik on the injury bench. Shivendra Singh has not recovered from the collarbone fracture he suffered during hockey nationals while India’s other experienced striker Tushar Khandekar is out due to ankle injury. Bharat Chikara who has not played for more than six months will have to wait to return to the field as his knee injury has not fully healed. Penalty Corner specialist and defender Dhananjay Mahadik is also out after injuring his ankle in Sultan Azlan Shah. (Times of India)

India’s new coach Michael Nobbs is working very hard on the fitness of Indian team and it is also number 1 priority for the Indian team. Indian team which was dubbed as a ‘35 minute team’ by former captain Col. Balbir Singh is working hard on its fitness levels to compete against the likes of Australia and other European teams. According to coach Nobbs despite being behind other teams Indian team has huge start and players are better in terms of physical fitness as compared to earlier. Sandeep Singh has lost 4 kgs and gained 2 kgs in muscle mass. The speed of the players has improved. (Times of India)

On the platinum jubilee of Indian hockey team’s victory in Berlin Olympics (15th August, 1936), Madhya Pradesh government has decided to honour 30 former hockey Olympians today (15th August, 2011). Maharastra CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan has honoured the likes of Gurbax Singh, Mukhben Singh, Ajit Singh, Inaam-ur-Rehman, Charles Cornellius , Aslan  Sher Khan and others were felicitated by the MP government.  (Times of India)

More than two weeks have passed since FIH gave a statement which said about removing India as the hosts of Champions Trophy and Olympic qualifiers but still MoS has done nothing to resolve this problem. The inflated egos of Indian Hockey Federation officials and not to forget Hockey India are eating Indian hockey but still they are not ready to resolve the problem between them and in turn save Indian hockey from embarrassment which FIH may dish out to Indian hockey. After giving them months to merge, the best both could do is work on four issues which does not include central contract to the players and promoting the game.

New Zealand hockey and the players have signed a MoU to form a hockey players association which will be solely focused on taking care of the players needs. Indian players who are always dished out rough treatment by the board has yet not formed an association which will look into the needs of the players and make sure they are not ill-treated by the board. To read my blog post on Hockey Players Association click here.

Through a German friend of mine I found out that Germany (other European countirestoo) has national teams for the age groups of 40 and above. Germany has national team for the age group 40 to 55 and 60 to 70 years of age and they also have regular tournaments against other countries. The tournaments (regular feature in Europe) also consist of the former players playing for their national teams. This could be a great example for our retired players to play in the tournament and keep the body fit as well as earn some money from it. Instead of going about how bad our Indian team is, the former players should form a team and play the games against other countries. It would also give a chance for us younger generations to watch our old greats play hockey. They might not be as good as they were in their early days but they are still our heroes.

**Will be covering top stories of the week and the new things I learn in this section. For more daily hockey news follow me on twitter

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