Monday, November 2, 2015

Why Hockey India still in silence about Gurbaj Singh?


Gurbaj Singh in action for Punjab Police
In what can be considered a historic judgement, Punjab and Haryana High Court quashed the ‘illegal’ ban by Hockey India on midfielder Gurbaj Singh and asked Hockey India to reconsider about the ban. While giving the decision, Punjab and Haryana High Court pointed out that someone from the system (Hockey India) was against him and with him not receiving any sort of communication from Hockey India about joining the camp, it still seems to be the case the officials of Hockey India are against him and are out to get him for questioning the quality of food provided.



Hockey India, taking directive from the directive of Punjab and Haryana High court removed the ban with immediate effect with Harbinder Singh, the head of Hockey India’s disciplinary committee said,’ Considering the court's decision, the committee members have unanimously decided to lift the ban on Gurbaj Singh with immediate effect and he is allowed to play in all international and domestic tournaments”. This decision made Hockey India an instant hero in the eyes of hockey fans of India but Gurbaj Singh, who was relived about getting the ban revoked, was also worried about his future in Indian team. 

Since his ban was revoked (announcement was made via a press conference) he has not heard anything from Hockey India and has also not received any sort of communication apart from the email about his ban being revoked. While the whole team is currently attending a training camp, Gurbaj Singh who has played a key role for India in many matches has received no communication from Hockey India to attend the camp. 

When we asked Gurbaj Singh about the decision to revoke his ban, he said he was happy to finally prove that he is innocent and the allegations laid on him were absolutely baseless. But with the happiness, there was also a feeling of despair that he was not asked to join the national camp for the Australian tour. Gurbaj Singh said, ‘I am feeling helpless despite clearing my name. With the ban being removed it was made clear that I did not create any groupism in the team but I still have not been asked to join the training camp.’ Even today Gurbaj Singh who played a pivotal role in Punjab Police in Surjit Hockey Tournament is waiting for communication from Hockey India asking him to join the national camp for Australia series and Hockey World League finals. 

When Hockey India banned Gurbaj Singh for nine months, the fans of Indian hockey stood behind Gurbaj and joined hands and urged Hockey India to remove the ban. Taking the advice of the hockey fans, Gurbaj Singh went to court to get his name cleared. Now, once again wtih Gurbaj Singh still on sidelines after getting his name cleared needs support of Indian hockey fans and team mates to get his place back in the team. 

It should not come as a surprise to hockey fans that Hockey India is not a fan of dissent or player speaking their minds and Gurbaj Singh by questioning judgement of Hockey India has irked the babus who run hockey in India. It is highly expected of the babus to keep Gurbaj Singh out of Indian side and thus deprive the Indian team a hard working match winner who is very important for India’s hopes in Rio Olympics. 

Hockey India should also question the motives of former assistant coach Jude Felix who blamed Gurbaj Singh for creating groupism in the side. Its time Hockey India breaks its stern silence over Gurbaj Singh affair and right all the wrongs done by them in last couple of months. 

Hockey fans in India have lot of faith in Narinder Batra and Batraji has done a lot for Indian hockey since taking over the helms. Batraji must now ensure that Gurbaj Singh is given justice and brought back in Indian side from the sidelines.


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