Nothing clears our mind like dribbling in a game of hockey on an artificial turf. Definitely, the players have wisened up to the game over the years. Today, hockey is played much faster than it was in the past (on grass surfaces).
A report on some media outlets described the pathetic plight of a junior women’s hockey team, which was left stranded in Australia for unspecified reasons. The girls were supposed to play some matches in Australia.
The incident was just peculiar, and was a sign of shocking negligence – even though it wasn’t known whether they were on an official trip to Australia, or whether it was just a friendly, informal competition. As far as the Sports Authority of India was concerned, it clarified that the trip was not officially sanctioned.
The uproar seems to have emerged after an Indian taxi driver in Australia took a video of the miserable-looking girls, which was then tweeted to Sushma Swaraj.
Kind attention @SushmaSwaraj Ji, @HCICanberra @AusHCIndia, @Ra_thore Ji – these girls went to Australia as our nation’s representative to play Hockey. They need our support to bring home medals and glory. Please listen to the video and take quick action for real #ChakDeIndia pic.twitter.com/4ACjFw7R5O
— Manjinder S Sirsa (@mssirsa) December 4, 2017
A few Indians there were certainly taken aback. The young girls simply did not know what to do. They even missed a few of their matches due to the miscommunication and the delay in their schedule.
However, they received some much-needed help from some good samaritans there. A Sikh committee in Australia came forward to help the girls with their basic needs – food, accommodation and travelling.
The million dollar question that remains unanswered is why they were left high and dry. Why were they not guided properly? What actually caused them to complain about this unexpected situation?
More importantly, was their problem not serious like those of the Argentina coach Carlos Retegui over the hectic scheduling of the entire 11-day Hockey World League? Incidentally, India ended with a bronze medal in the tournament by defeating Germany by a 1-goal margin in the semi-finals.
For the tournament, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) did not keep a single rest day, which resulted in the teams playing back-to-back games, without the players having sufficient recovery time. Not surprisingly, the schedule invited strong criticism.
If these were the concerns at a premier hockey competition, one can only imagine the kind of pain and torment that the girls had to suffer in Australia.
Featured image used for representative purposes only.