New Delhi:The men's hockey team faced the ignominy of not making the Olympics cut for the first time in their history. Will things improve under the current IHF regime? If they do, India would be back for London 2012 and be a medal contender.
There are those who believe India are a decade behind the other top teams. Former Indian captain Jude Felix believes things are so bad, they couldn't get worse. He also says no foreign coach would now come to India after what happened to Ric Charlesworth.
Other Olympians blamed the callousness of hockey administrators for the mess India is in. "There is no calendar, no schedule of hockey in India and even if at times it is made, it is never implemented. We need to look at all these reasons and sort them out. We need to unite and support the selection committee, instead of involving in blame game," women's hockey coach MK Kaushuik lamented.
Zafar Iqbal, a selector now, says missing the Beijing Olympics has pushed India back many years. "After watching the competition at Beijing Olympics, we have realised that the standard of hockey has gone very high. In terms of skills, strategy and stamina, it's not the same as it was few years back. New rules have also come up and so it's important to improve our skills," he said.
India will host the 2010 World Cup in New Delhi. As the host team, perhaps we could expect a decent show from our boys, if not consummate success. Perhaps, that could turn things around.