Nov 24, 2011

WSH: Right Tournament At Wrong Time?

One dream of every Indian hockey fan was to have club hockey in India. In year 2005, PHL came to renew interest of people in  India's national game. Started in 2005 PHL mesmerized hockey fans and gave them something to cheer about. But, PHL could only last 3 years and it closed in year 2008 after IHF was removed as NSF for hockey in India.

London Olympics or World Series Hockey?
Come 2011, Indian hockey fans got another to smile. Nimbus Sports along with IHF brought $ 2 billion hockey league known as World Series Hockey (WSH). The news tournament brought joy in heart of every hockey fan as it would take care of financial needs of the people and also supply the fans with great quality hockey matches. Everything was looking great and according to plan, except for one major problem. The tournament was scheduled just 2 months before the most important tournament that India will play, the Olympic Qualifiers.

For Indian hockey, which never missed an Olympic berth except in 2008, qualifying for London Olympics should be the the main and only priority. But with World Series Hockey ending just one and half months before the Olympic Qualifiers, the players will have very little time to rest and regroup for the tournament. In those one and half months, players have to take adequate rest, nurse injuries and knocks (if any) practice and play the qualifiers. Players will play for different teams, headed by different coaches with different tactics. The difference in the training methods might affect the players when they come back for the Olympic qualifiers.

Hockey India is also proposing test series in hockey between January or February and if it goes ahead the schedule will be too tight for the players and tiresome for the players because of continuous hockey.

Its time former NSF for hockey Indian Hockey Federation along with Nimbus Sports will have to think and take decision regarding what should come first, country's interest or a multi-million dollar league. Having a successful World Series hockey followed by missing out on Olympics will turn about to be a huge disaster and it will not help hockey in India. But qualifying for the Olympics followed by World Series Hockey will surely will help hockey in India and the aim of Nimbus Sports of promoting hockey in India.

Its time that Nimbus Sports should look at the larger picture and re-schedule the tournament perhaps a couple of month later so that India does not lose out on Olympics. Re-scheduling the tournament be couple of months will not affect World Series Hockey but if India does not qualify for Olympics, it will turn out to be biggest disaster for Indian hockey which will lead to death of hockey in India.

Now its IHF and Nimbus Sports who has to take decision regarding what comes first, national interest or some club-hockey

(Image Source: Google Images)

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