After all the hue and cry around Indian players striking before the Hockey World Cup 2010, India is finally participating in the Hockey World Cup! And frankly speaking, it would be unfair to expect the Indians to win even a bronze medal despite a 4-1 victory over Pakistan in the first match. The rot that has set in the Indian Hockey can’t go unnoticed and it has already begun to appear in the team’s performance against teams like Australia and even Spain which are setting the trend with aggression and solid defense not to mention clinical passing and speed.
Today’s defeat of 5-2 at the hands of Spain gave one an impression as if the Indian team is 5 years behind time and needs to go a long distance to be at par with other teams in terms of their fitness, speed and game planning!
It does not come as a surprise that India’s national sport languishes without proper sponsor or money for infrastructure and this sad state of affairs comes to light before a major tournament. Those in the helm of affairs till the recent past like Mr. K.P.S Gill should be held accountable for this pathetic state of affairs of the game. A step brotherly treatment is not going to win India medals or accolades and we need to come to terms with the fact that we are minnows in World Hockey and teams like Australia and England have gone way past us.
People need to give this game the same amount of love that they shed on cricket and that is when this national sport will be rejuvenated. The day when children in towns and cities dream of playing hockey for the nation is when the sport will begin its slow ascendancy to the same pinnacle which were once scaled in Olympics and world cup.
Reality bites and the sooner Indians realize this fact, the better else the sad story of decline will continue endlessly!