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Only God can save Indian hockey: Pargat
May 05, 2004 19:29 IST
"Only God can save Indian hockey" -- this is the exasperated comment of former hockey great Pargat Singh who like his contemporaries slammed the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) for its "high-handedness" in running the game in the country.
Pargat said he was surprised at IHF's decision to continue with experimentations with the side even though the Athens Olympics was just round the corner.
"It's not justified and not doing any good to the team. There is no long-term planning for promoting the game. They lack professionalism and vision," the former full-back said.
The 39-year-old, who captained India in two Olympics -- in 1992 at Barcelona and 1996 at Atlanta, also threw his weight behind "out of favour" strikers Dhanraj Pillay and Baljit Singh Dhillon.
The two veterans were ignored by the IHF from a pool of 30 hopefuls for the Athens Games in August.
"If they are fit they should be in the team," Pargat said referring to IHF chief K P S Gill's comments that only those players would be picked in the 16-member team for the Olympics who can play for the entire duration of a match.
"These two players should have been given a chance to prove their fitness. They are very experienced players and must not be ignored.
"But now it all depends on the coach (Rajinder Singh) and the IHF whether the two can play in the Olympics or not," he said.
The legendary player also said that IHF should pay heed to former players who can help the game in a big way in the country.
"Once you retire from the game, you mean nothing to the IHF. Even your visit to the IHF office bothers them.
"It's high time that the former players should take IHF to task."
Pargat, currently the coach of Punjab Police, also spoke about penalty corner expert Jugraj Singh, who has resumed practice after recovering from a near-fatal accident near Jalandhar last year.
"Jugraj has started training but would take some time before regaining full fitness. I can't say how long it will take before he resumes playing hockey but he has started jogging."