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Think before writing off the Ad-hoc Committee (1/20/2009)
--K. Arumugam
Think before writing off the Ad-hoc Committee

It is easy to be pessimistic and easier to make sweeping statements. One such occasion has been witnessed recently. Almost anybody who is somebody in our hockey circle have something bad to comment about the Ad-hoc Committee -- and jump into dismissing them out-rightly.

Expectations of the nation rose logarithmically after the IOA dissolved the errant IHF.

The ad-hoc committee fell short of the nation’s expectation. They failed to put in place any image building or confidence building exercises. They were old-fashioned, wasted and idled in the first three or four months before doing something notable.

Having said this, it is better to see things beyond the prism of personalities. In stead of x or y in the Adhoc Committee is good or bad, let us restrict our analysis to actions they have done or failed to carry out.

Joaquim was continued as chief coach till he played truant. Gill’s appointee AK Bansal was also continued. Joaquim and Bansal issues pointed to their belief of continuity.

For the first time in the history, hockey players were asked to search for the National Chief coach. Unfortunately, they messed up, their choice MK Kaushik played a dodge, which gave a bad name to the adhoc committee for no fault of them.

Hyderabad Junior Asia Cup was held admirably well; Adhoc Committee Chairman could muster more than enough sponsorship for the event.

Visit and exchange tours of Junior and Senior teams with Pakistan arranged, but fell through for reasons beyond their control.

Junior and Senior Teams Argentina tours organized -- it is important because India will be playing a major tournament there this year end.

FIH approval obtained for Punjab Gold Cup in which world no 1 and 4 teams will take place. Significantly, Netherlands and Germany were convinced of sending strong teams and when Pakistan had to cancel the trip, a substitute was immediately found.

World Cup retained for Delhi.

Drawn up a reasonable calendar for this year (NZ tour, Europe Tour, Asian CT etc).

Selection Committee was given full freehand to select both junior and senior teams, and till now no one has pointed a finger at the Ad-hoc committee of interfering in their job.

With a result, we almost have the same core in both junior and senior teams, Harendera even got the luxury of so many recalls he deemed fit.

Yes, some selectors are unhappy, and they plant stories in the media. They are upset because they were not sent as Managers or Observers -- or their choices for different posts were not agreed.

Adhoc Committee roped in two of the familiar hockey faces, Pargat Singh and Jagbir Singh, as Director (Projects) and Director (Planning) respectively. Now it is upto them to deliver, Pargat is already giving shape to the double-leg 4-Nation in Chandigarh. Jagbir is closely advising the adhoc committee, though we do not have access to his Planning part.

If one has to see for the results on the field, it is not bad either.

Junior Asia Cup Gold, Azlan Shah Silver, AYOF Silver, Test Series win over the reigning Jr. World Cup Champions Argentina, and Seniors are also on the verge of winning their ongoing series.

When have we got a media release after each match played, as we are getting nowadays? Because of this new initiative only, print and visual media covered last three international events of India. In January last year, India played a 8-Nation tournament and won the silver, even results were not published in the media.

Indian hockey certainly deserves a better media management, but as of now some step has been taken and something is better than nothing at all.

Indians have given an assurance to the FIH -- when the issue of Richard Charlesworth’s return came up – to consider another nominee of them for the national chief coach. So, we have here Jose Brasa. His appointment or somebody else’s is to honour our commitment under Promoting Indian Hockey Project.

This committee has been mentioning Harendera as Coach in charge in all their official communication and press briefs, indicating what is in their mind. Therefore, one cannot reasonably claim the selectors were not aware of a foreign coach being appointed.

Yes, this committee could have held the IHF election which it did not, giving rise to the speculation that they are interested to continue forever. Certainly they have failed to understand ad-hoc mechanism cannot become a permanent one.

The best way is to install a democratic IHF, if that does not happen due to court or due to their greed, we have every right to put pressure on them.

It does not mean this committee is useless. Yes, there are useless people in the committee, then so also in the selection committee. Why do we point out at adhoc committee alone for criticism, and treating the Selection Committee as a holy cow. First three months after Gill’s dissolution, these former Olympians were only canvassing and fighting for themselves, culminating into Ajit Pal replacing Aslam Sher Khan as chairman.

If you just go by the action – that too if they can install a foreign coach at least – adhoc committee does not deserve any admonition, more so after Kalmadi intervened and settled the issue once for all.

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