Monday, March 10, 2008

Grace to disgrace

Once again, an all too-familiar spectacle has happened in the Indian sports arena - but this time, this as taken the sport to an all time low. I'm talking about the failure of the Indian hockey team to qualify for the Beijing Olympics.

The hockey team has been in a really bad shape for almost 2 decades now. Yet they've managed to at least qualify for the Olympics. So, this failure, the first in 8 decades has shocked so many fans across the country.

Actually I'm not a great follower of the game. I just catch a few bits and pieces every now and then.But of late, I felt that our team has actually improved on its performance. If I remember correctly, our team won a Champions trophy last year and also won the home series against Belgium. Even in this tournament in Chile, they performed exceedingly well. They trounced all the lesser teams and were a close second at the end of the league matches. It was the final crucial match that they've failed - the all too familiar failure script at the last hurdle. So, we cannot just blame team for the failure. These things do happen. But if only the team had performed so well in the 2006 Doha Asian games, we needn't worry about this single loss. But the entire sport needs a new burst of energy and a set of new leaders at the helm to revitalize the game.

As usual the blame game has started. Responding to the demands to have the IHF modified by the government, Mani shankar aiyar, the sports minister has stated, "We don't appoint a Federation President so we cannot remove him as well. We just watch and suffer.I took no credit for the fantabulous victory of our cricket team in Australia because the credit should go where it is due and here it was for BCCI and debit must also go where it is due which is, you can fill in the blanks" - an interesting statement !!!

Now so many political leaders have started talking against Mr.Gill. The coach Carvalho and the IHF vice president Batra have stepped down. Let's see if anything at all happens to help the game.


Venky said...

I was utterly disappointed to read your words 'these things happen..' what if these things happen for 15 years continuously? And this is not the final hurdle. in fact it is the final round of the first hurdle.
I can tell you with all confidence in the world that hockey will not receive the sort of attention cricket gets. People like Sania did turn the attention of people and business towards other sports. And your point on holes in the system is right but that doesn't help. Reluctance on the administration can't just go on forever.