Rajpal to lead India in Champions Challenge: Sources

Updated: 21 November 2009 16:12 IST

Rajpal Singh will lead India in the forthcoming Champions Challenge I hockey tournament to be held in Argentina, according to sources within the team.

Rajpal to lead India in Champions Challenge: Sources

Pune:

Rajpal Singh will lead India in the forthcoming Champions Challenge I hockey tournament to be held in Salta, Argentina from December 6-13, according to sources within the team.

The sources said that the decision to give Rajpal the captaincy was taken unanimously at the team's dinner meeting last night.

In the meeting, both the disgruntled players and chief coach Jose Brasa sorted out their differences and mutually decided that from now on the Spaniard would pick the skipper based on a player's performance.

The players in turn agreed to give in writing that they won't interfere in his coaching methods.

"As per the decisions taken in the dinner meeting, Rajpal Singh has been retained as captain for the Champions Challenge tournament in Argentina. Brasa also gave an undertaking to the players in the presence of Indian coaches that for the future tournaments, he would pick the captain based on performance.

"In turn, the players had volunteered to give a signed letter in writing accepting the team meeting decisions and also Brasa's coaching methods," sources within the team said.

A players' revolt was brewing after Hockey India named Rajpal as the skipper of the eight-nation tournament in Argentina in place of Sandeep Singh, a decision from which it later retracted.

The problems further compounded when Brasa recently said that Sandeep removed as captain since it was affecting the dragflicker's game. Sandeep has also suffered a back injury and was doubtful for the Champions Challenge.

Miffed with Brasa's working style, some players even wrote to Hockey India citing their grievences which forced the Federation President A K Mattoo to fly down from New Delhi to intervene and avert a possible revolt.

"This (Sandeep's removal from captaincy) snowballed into a major problem and the players were not fully involvement in the daily routines of physical training and practice sessions. We were at the ground for the training session yesterday but did not train for most part of the scheduled time. We had only half hour training," a player said on condition of anonymity.

Sources said that Mattoo, who met Brasa and the disgruntled players on Thursday to broker peace, had even advised the Indian coaches to talk to Sandeep on the issue and pacify him.

They added that the coaches later had a detailed discussion with Sandeep and advised him to be calm and not to create any problem that will spoil the atmosphere at the camp. Meanwhile, it is also learnt that the players have expressed satisfaction over Brasa's coaching methods.

"We do not find any major changes to the coaching style of Brasa. His style is the same as that of Carvalho sir. We have had adjusted to the toughest training sessions under him for over one year. Brasa's style and methods are 80 to 90 percent of what we learnt from Carvalho sir," one player said.

Topics : Hockey Hockey India League
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