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Hockey India's archaic, if not anarchic, approach (4/25/2010)
--K.. Arumugam
Star midfielder Prabodh Tirkey is back for the Azlan Shah hockey, but that is not the news now. The news now is Hockey India -- a fraudulently formed outfit that never has the sanction of any electoral college -- reverts to long abandoned archaic,if not anarchic, approach that directly aims to curtails the freedom of coaches.

After missing out the home World Cup, Prabodh Tirkey is back in the national team. The former captain has been recalled for the next month's Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.

The Indian team selected for the 19th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup to be played at its original home, Ipoh, Malaysia, has been selected after the ageold tamasha of Indian hockey called two-day trials at the training camp, Pune.

According to Hockey India's version, the selectors and coaches unanimously decided to give a chance to some new promising players in the Azlan Cup.

Meanwhile, in an apparent move to curb the freedom of coach, Hockey India also decides to put a 'core management team' for all overseas series and tournaments as well as domestic matches. This committee is expected to comprise the coaches, captain and team manager who will decide on the playing composition of the squad before every match. This obviously means if Anupam Ghulati is manager - which he is often -- he will have a say in the playing eleven, as was the case with Jothikumaran when he was the manager for the 2000 Olympics, and Ramandeep Singh was persisted till he buried India in the Poland match!!

If this is going to happen, that is the core group will decide to playing composition each match, it is doubtful what is the job of the national chief coach is expected to perform?

By all means the crooks (Hockey India and a section of former hockey legends), by coming up with this brain wave, make sure of some free foreign tours for themselves, on the way throwing some bones to some self-centered former players to chew.

On one hand Hockey India refuses women players to figure in a women hockey tournaments but on the other these two ladies -- selectors Sita and Madhu -- go all the way to Pune, instead of Bhopal where a women hockey tournament is going on! This is another comedy unfolding in Indian hockey. So much monies, tax payers one -- this is tragedy indeed, is wasted on these trial trips.

The selection trials were attended by Hockey India Selection Committee members BP Govinda, Col. Balbir Singh (Services), Madhu Yadav and Sita Mehta in the presence of Government Observers Ajitpal Singh and Zafar Iqbal.

The team:

Goalkeepers
Sreejesh PR (Indian Overseas Bank)
Bharat Chetri (Canara Bank)

Defenders
Sardar Singh (Haryana Police)
Dhananjay Mahadik (Services)
Amit Prabhakar (Air India)
Rupinder Pal Singh (Indian Oil)

Midfielders
Gurbaj Singh (Air India)
Ravi Pal Singh (BPCL)
Prabodh Tirkey (Air India)
Bharat Chikara (Indian Oil)
Vikas Pillay (Air India)
Danish Mujtaba (UP)

Forwards

Rajpal Singh (Capt) (Indian Oil)
Tushar Khandker (BPCL)
Shivendra Singh (Air India)
Mandip Antil (ONGC)
Arjun Halappa (Air India)
Sarvanjit Singh (Punjab & Sind Bank)

Standbys


Jaswinder Singh (RCF) - Goalkeeper
Ajitesh Roy (Punjab National Bank)
Vikas Sharma (Indian Oil)
Bikas Toppo (ONGC)

Officials
Jose Brasa - Foreign Coach
Harendra Singh - National Coach
Clarence Lobo - Coach
Gundeep Kumar - Coach
BK Nayak - Doctor
Shrikant Iyengar - Physiotherapist
Pradip Dutta - Trainer
RK Bansiwal - Masseur

MATCH SCHEDULE FOR INDIA
06 May - India v China
07 May - India v Pakistan
09 May - India v South Korea
10 May - India v Australia
12 May - India v Malaysia
15 May - India v Egypt
16 May - 5-6 Position Playoff
3-4 Position Playoff
Final India are four time champions of this tournament having won the title in 1985, 1991, 1995 and 2009.

In the meanwhile the coaching camp at Pune will continue till 15 May with the rest of the Commonwealth Games/Asian Games core probables under the charge of Romeo James. In addition, special training for core group and other goalkeepers shall be conducted alongside a penalty corner dragflickers clinic under the guidance of Jugraj Singh.

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