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Wom Hockey: All too familiar NUMBERS (8/25/2010)
--s2h team
All too familiar Numbers

At Kazan during the Olympic Qualifier 2008, a grand old lady of Indian Women Hockey Federation surprised everyone all of a sudden. Before start of a match, even as the teams were lined up, she came up with a bouquet, and made an announcement through the public address system that Dipika Murthy will today be playing her one hundredth match.

It surprised at least Dipika, who just had a guile smile and accepted the accolade with that.

She had been playing for India since 2003, and had obviously crossed the landmark long ago.

Now on the eve of 2010 World Cup, there is another shocker.

Officials site of the World Cup puts her caps at 113, that means, if one goes by Kazan, she has played only 13 matches in the last two and half years! She is a main goalie in all major tournaments and test series, have in any case figured more than 40 in this spell.

The another beauty of Dipika’ stat that the powers that be provide is, she has been shown 102 caps during the last Bangkok Asia Cup. Which means, she had just played two matches between May 2008 Kazan Qualifier and the October 2009 Asia Cup!!

This goof up pales against another one that stark on the face .

That is age of Rani Ramphal is shown as 15, which is again reflected in the microsite of the 2010 World Cup.

She was also in Kazan Olympic Qualifier, and was given an award for being the youngest at just 15!

Kazan took place two and half years ago, this girl’s age remains static!!

It is indeed surprising that on both occasions India played World Cups in the past, 1998 and 2006 (it did not qualify for the 2002 number), it had the honour of having the youngest members in its ranks!

In 1998, it was goalie Tingu (Tingonleima Chanu).

It is nice to see in the official sheet that Somesh is designated as coach, while another coach who will sit on the bench will be Sandeep Kaur, not Pritam as expected.

Coming back to numbers, a girl who is just 16 has already played more than 40 matches, this girl also comes from the same place as that ever-young Rani.

A girl at the age of 18 has played 81 matches, again as per the data India supplied to the FIH which had to faithfully reflect in the microsite.

Deepika Thakur, one of the remnants of last World Cup, and has been in the mainstay of the team in the last six years, has been shown a mere cap record of 51.

Actual numbers are with us, but then why to waste time, as the world will have to believe, and go by, what is official.

Our administrators have never understood the numbers have some meaning.

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