With the furore over the failure of Team India in the recently concluded ICC World T20 cup consuming the entire nation, there are two major developments in the Indian Sports World which have been overlooked by all and sundry, namely India’s success in the recently concluded Sultan Azlan Shah tournament and Vishwanathan Anand conquering the World Title yet again.
It is known that Cricket is a religion in India, so when your religion lets you down it is obvious for the people to lose their cool. But it is also unreasonable to forget the achievements of a few “common” men toiling away to bring glory to their nation. The Indian Hockey team pulled its act together and retained the Sultan Azlan Shah tournament held in May. This is no mere achievement considering that it has been a tumultuous ride for the team over the past decade. However it seems the plight of the hockey team has no end in the near future with Hockey India (the ad hoc body controlling administrative affairs) being plunged into a fresh pile of miseries regarding its affiliation. At a time when the National team should be congratulated for their efforts and plans should be set in motion for redevelopment of the entire Hockey infrastructure with the 2012 London Olympic Games in mind, the officials are still bickering over the control of hockey administration in India. With such an unstable unit at the helm it is difficult for the team to move ahead and moreover when there is a dearth of resources to the team. It is ironical that the national sport of the country finds itself at root of corruption, bankruptcy and ill-equipped.
Though it is very hard to turn a new leaf, the need of the hour demands a revamp of the entire administrative system with people who have a sound knowledge of the game at the helm. India, once a powerhouse in world hockey, has fallen behind most of the European nations in the fray. The administration should follow in the footsteps of the AIS (Australian Institute of Soprts), which has laid many programmes most notably its Scholarship programme which were the stepping stones to its success in most field of sports. Any decision taken by the BCCI or any officiating body of Cricket in India has to first pass the scrutiny of almost every cricket fan such an involvement in hockey is lacking, when a sport is followed by a vast multitude it becomes very hard for the corrupt to have their way. It is a shame that many people are even oblivious to the most trivial facts about hockey.
If cricket is a religion and the undulating attention given to the cricketers justified then let us also not undermine the achievements in our National sport-Hockey and let us give a tribute to these “forgotten” heroes.
The writer is a correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz.