Hockey players call for end to criticism

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:07 IST

Under the scanner for various reasons, members of the Indian hockey team appealed to critics back home to support them.

Hockey players call for end to criticism

Leverkusen:

Under the scanner for various reasons, members of the Indian hockey team appealed to critics back home to support them as they continue their preparations for next month's Athens Olympics. The selection of the team as well as the sacking of coach Rajinder Singh has sparked off stringent criticism from former players and fans of the game. The players urged to one and all to let them focus on the all-important task at hand. Former Olympians, including Pargat Singh, had slammed the Indian Hockey Federation for ignoring experienced defender Kanwalpreet Singh and mid-fielder Bimal Lakra in favour of some rookie players. Captain Dilip Tirkey, a veteran defender, tried to justify the composition of the team, saying that this is the best available squad on current form. "William Xalco and Harpal Singh relieved me of extra pressure in the Dusseldorf tournament. In Amsterdam I had to take on the additional load and work overtime as a one and a half full back," he said. Star striker Dhanraj Pillay said that there was unity in the team and there was no need to panic. "For God's sake leave us alone. We are a well-knit, harmonious and happy family now. Please let us continue with our Olympic focus," said Pillay. Two other senior forwards -- Baljit Singh Dhillon and Gagan Ajit Singh felt the team was improving under the new coaching crew. (PTI)



Topics : Hockey
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