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Tirkey defends Sahara's actions
Onkar Singh | August 13, 2003 19:08 IST
Former captain and one of the senior members of the Indian hockey team Dilip Tirkey has denied that parties hosted by team sponsors Sahara India had hit the team's practice schedules while training at Lucknow.
Speaking to rediff.com on phone, before the team left for Amsterdam on Sunday night to take part in the six-nation Champions Trophy, beginning on August 16, Tirkey said there is nothing wrong with what Sahara had done.
"When a company is sponsoring the hockey team it would naturally like to get a mileage out of the team players. There is nothing wrong in that. But if you are hinting that the team's practice sessions were hampered because of that I will tell you that it was not the case," Tirkey said.
"Our morale has gone up after winning two international tournaments in a row in Australia and Germany. This would help us in the forthcoming tournament as well," he added.
Asked if the ten-day break in Barog, Himachal Pradesh, had done any good to the team, Tirkey replied that such breaks come as welcome relief from the otherwise hectic schedules.
"This helped us in getting back our concentration. Since the break was in a hill resort in Himachal Pradesh, the climate was ideal for strenuous work-outs to improve our fitness level," he said.
He said the team has got back the much-needed 'killing spirit' which helped it to win two tournaments.
"Our goal conversion rate is much higher than before. If we continue to coordinate well and play the kind of hockey that we did in Australia and Germany we should be able to give a good account of ourselves in the Champions Trophy," he declared.