Ordos, China: The India hockey team is facing an acute shortage of shoes ahead of the summit clash against Pakistan in the Asian Champions Trophy here on Sunday as most of the players have only one pair of shoes for warm-up sessions as well as for matches.
Manjit Kullu, the left half back in the Indian team, has been playing with warm-up shoes in the tournament after his only pair of hockey turf shoes had split into two.
Playing with warm-up shoes is akin to running on ice wearing normal shoes and Manjit is lucky that he has not injured himself till now.
The other Indian player who is without turf shoes is Harpreet Singh. The turf is slippery here at Ordos and both the players are at constant risk of slipping, which can cause serious injury to them. Both Manjit and Harpreet have just made it to the senior national team and it is difficult for them to afford shoes as a good pair costs around Rs 5,000 to Rs 7,000.
Sources in the team say that the pair provided by the Sports Authority of India are not of good quality and so they don't last long.
On an average, a player uses 3-4 pairs every year.