Mar, 11 2008
Dear Indian Hockey team,
I guess this is my first ever letter to you……. I am really sorry for not having written to you earlier.
Though I am dissapointed that you could not make it to the Olympics and lost out to Britain, let me assure you that I am not going to play any blame game….
The fact is that, I am not even in a position to analyse what went wrong and where. I must admit that had it been cricket, I would have at least said that he did not bowl well, or he did not bat well or the umpire gave a wrong decision and what not. But surprisingly or rather not so surprisingly, it has dawned upon me that I do not know the game at all.
Yes, the nation has reacted very strongly and it shall remain a fact that in 80 years, it is the first time that we could not send our team to Olympics, leave alone get a medal. But then, a nation that was busy celebrating the victory of the cricket team, not just the national but the under nineteen team also, a nation that was lost in the racial slur case that the gentleman’s game was engulfed with, a nation whose members of the media wake up to the fact that its national game’s national team is not competent enough only when it lost a crucial game, how cdo you expect such a nation to understand you.
Dear team, yes, it is a national shame that you could not make it to the Olympics, but then, the entire nation shall have share the blame.
While many in the nation can remember every moment of the cricket matches played not only by India, but details of the matches between other countries also remain fresh in the memory, there are millions out here whhave not even watched a single full hockey match.
Not that you are not aware, but yes, apart from the indifferent attitude of the nation,it seems that the authorities are also not competent enough Look at the kind of money chasing the game of cricket in this nation, look at the amount of money that was put at stake with the annoucement of the Indian Premier League…..but then again, why would anyone put money into a game that isnt even winning matches for the country? And how would a game improve if money is not put in?
What is required is that young players are trained according to international standards. Isn’t is true that you people play on grass and when you go and compete on astro truff, it is a different ball game altogether? The nature, the style and the manner in which these young players from different villages play is of a different genre as compared to the international game they have to play later??
Well, as I said, I am not even in a position to analyse the game properly.
All that came to my mind was that I wanted news channels to play ‘Chak de’ the famous song after you come back with the medal in your hand, that they play the song to welcome you ………never mind, come back, let us all work on it and make sure that next time, we not only put up a good fight but once again re-create the magic ……….
(Next time, I hope to write–An Indian hockey fan……..)