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Blue Turf: Advantage First World, says Pakistan Manager Md. Junaid (5/24/2012)
--K. Arumugam
Blue Turf: Advantage First World, says Pakistan Manager Md. Junaid

Pakistan team had just witnessed the brand new blue turf laid out at the Azlan Shah Stadium the other day, and had a couple of practice sessions too here in Ipoh. It also played a practice match yesterday, in which it trounced the hosts 4-0. Having just acquainted with the Talk of the London Olympics ‘the Blue Turf’, Md. Junaid, the veteran of Pakistan hockey, minces no words in his assessment.

“We haven’t played high intensity matches on this turf to make a considered opinion. The turf’s nature will be known only when hard games are played, not on practice sessions, and only during hard games the blue turf experienced team will have an edge, because what would count between equally strong teams is experience”, he said.

“At the same time, it is not correct to introduce something drastic such as this on the eve of Olympics. The first world is having this type of turf, say, well over a year, and have been playing on it since then , gaining experience. We, like many other countries, get to know of it only now. Don’t you think we are unfairly disadvantaged”, he asks indignantly.

Junaid is also concerned as to the future beyond Olympics.

"Many countries even now struggle to have traditional synthetic surface. Now we add another dimension one to it. They have to now make it clear whether international matches can be played only on blue turf hereafter or continue to play on regular green turfs also. If we can play international hockey on both surfaces, which is likely, why not we have one on natural grass root too?” Junaid is unforgiving.

“Whatever, the second or third world is already having problem in promotion of hockey on turfs, and the new one is going add to their woes. The first world can always do things this way, and having done it now, they surely have collected huge advantage over all of us, the second world”, Junaid was categorical in his views. Junaid feels the thick colouring and contrasting border too entails criticism.

“The colour contrast is too glaring. It is not pleasant to eyes. A mild version that simulates the sky would not have been this glaring and eye-sore”.

“We had green turf. Its logical as the original playing surface was grass one. Now, the colour of the grass is not only unpleasant but also does not fit into hockey sport”, he reasoned.

At least we should continue to play with white balls, he signs off. Most of the Pakistan players too echo and endorse Md. Junaid’s views.

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