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Ten World Cup Players not in the list (4/18/2003)
--April 2002:

KL World Cup captain Baljit Singh Dhillon, Dhanraj Pillay, Baljit Singh Saini, Lajrus Barla, Sabu Varkey, Sukhbir Singh Gill, Thirumal Valavan, Arjun Halappa and Bipin Fernadez have been missing in the 30-member Indian probables list released by the Indian Hockey Federation. Even when India finished last at the Wisdon World Cup (1986) not many players were dropped. Dilip Tirkey is the only senior retained. A few tried-and discarded players like Ajinderpal Singh, Baljit Singh Chandi and Prabhdeep singh form the list whereas four players whose exclusion from the KL World Cup was the talking point -- Vikram Pillai, Gaganajit Singh, Dinesh Nayak and Bimal Lakra -- return to the preparatory camp. The quartet of Hobart Junior World Cup coaching staff - Rajinder Singh, N.S. Sodhi, A.E. Brient and Sampath-- are back.

Complete list: Goalkeepers - Bharat Chetri, Devesh Chauhan, Shanmugam Sundaram, Kamaldeep Singh, Manpreet Singh; Fullbacks - Dilip Tirkey, Kanwalpreet Singh, Jugraj Singh, Khalco, Dinesh Nayak, Ronald Kiran; mid-fielders- Igance Tirkey, his brother Prabodh Tirkey, PRabhdeep Singh, Vikram Pillai, Arjun Rawath, Sunil Yadav, Bimal Lakra, Viren Rasquinha; Forwards- Tejbir SIngh, Iqbal Singh, Anup Anthony, Ajinderpal Singh, Gaganajit Singh, Daljit Singh Dhillon, Sameer Dad, Baljeet Singh Chandi, Prabhjot SIngh, deepak Thakur and Sunil Ekka.

Analysis: No one can question the wisdom of the retaining the youngsters who did duty at the last Senior World Cup. So also, giving a chance to Gagan, Vikaram and Dinesh who were unfortunate to miss the KL bus due to stiff competition.

However, dropping of Arjun Halappa and Bipin Fernandez, who played the Hobart and Kuala Lumpur World Cups defies logic. Its Arjun who scored twice in the semifinal of the last Junior Asia Cup and the winner against Germany in Hobart in the crucial last match of the Round Two. Still under-21, he might be demoralised by the sudden exit. Same is true for Bipin Fernadez, who is a solid playmaker in the making. If the idea is to groom the Junior World Cup team players, why then is Inderjeet Singh not considered. It's surprise Ajinder Pal Singh has been recalled after four years. The Railways lad from Punjab was not even selected for the inter-Railways tournament this year, not in the Indian Railways team in the last three years. How all of sudden, his name propped up is a mystery. This is a clear case of favouritism.

Ignace Tirkey's younger brother Probodh Tirkey is in the list. Talented Prabodh is still under-18. He should have been in the Under-18 team that would participate in the Poland World Youth Festival late in the year. More so in the light of the fact that Ignace is an established left-half and there is no need to have another left-half.

As happened many times in the past, the focus seems to be faulty and directionless. It lacks vision. After 1998 Asian games, the IHF dropped six senior players only to be recalled one by one later. Now too the team lacks the blend of young and experienced. The youngsters who gained valuable experience in playing such a great tournament as the World Cup should not have been dropped at the drop of a hat. This is not the way to develop winning team.

Yesterday News

Rajinder Singh appointed Chief coach

Baljit Saini and Thirumalvalavan dropped

New Delhi: 19th April. Olympian Rajinder Singh has been appointed as the national chief coach of the Indian hockey team. He succeeds Cedric D'Souza who was removed mid-way through the World Cup last month. Narinder Singh Sodhi, who assisted Rajinder Singh at the Hobart Junior World Cup will be his deputy. Earlier, Harendera's name figured prominently for the deputy coach slot.

Three prominent players of the Kulala Lumpur World Cup team -- captain Baljit Singh Dhillon, Baljit Singh Saini, Thirumal Valavan-- have been dropped from the 33-member probables list, who will be undergoing a two-week training camp before leaving for Australia to participate in the double-leg 4-Nation Tournament. Sources reveal that KPS Gill, president of the Indian Hockey Federation and also Chairman of its Selection Committee did not agree with the 33-probables list submitted by six selectors after watching the recent U&I Trophy. Though he has not witnessed all the World Cup and the U&I Trophy matches, his view seemed to focus on the younger lot of players. Accordingly, the probables list is full of youngesters. Dhanraj Pillay's name does not figure in the list as he is at present not available for the camp owing to his assignment in the Malaysian league.

EARLIER NEWS

Baljit Dhillon to be axed

New Delhi: 17th April. Kuala Lumpur World Cup captain Baljit Singh Dhillon and 3-time World Cupper Sabu Varkey are the likely to be dropped out when the Indian Hockey Federation will announce a 33-member probables list tomorrow (Friday) in New Delhi. Dhanraj Pillay, who is presently playing in the Malaysian league,

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