India prepare for Champions Challenge

Updated: 25 February 2007 07:37 IST

The Champions Hockey Challenge starts in Malaysia this week and the two top teams in the competition qualify for the elite champions trophy.

India prepare for Champions Challenge

Chennai:

The Champions Hockey Challenge starts in Malaysia later this week and the two top teams in the competition qualify for the elite champions trophy. India is hoping to grab one of those spots but not everything was right at their preparatory camp in Chennai. The woefully inadequate facilities for their training continues to haunt the Indian team. The team has no video camera to record their games. The ball throwing machine, considered the most basic requirement for practice has been under repair for the past nine months. Despite repeated assurances from the federation and the government the chief coach has still not been paid any remuneration. However, all this has not dampened the spirits of the boys. "The team spirit is very strong. We have worked hard on physical aspects, analysis and ratification of our mistakes. All this should come good for the champions challenge," said Cedric D'souza, chief coach of the Indian hockey team. Ball possession especially within the 25-yard line and penalty corner conversion are some of the areas that have come in for special attention. "We have concentrated on our specialist Yuvraj Singh. He is very good, it should pay off," said C R Kumar, assistant coach of the Indian team. Hockey may be our national game, but it's also perhaps the most neglected sport in the country. What is heartening is that despite being given the wrong end of the stick, the players here seem determined to come out on top in the six-nation championship in Kuala Lumpur beginning later this week.

Topics : Hockey
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