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Home > Sports > Hockey > PTI > Report

Kumble to Pillay's defence

May 07, 2004 15:11 IST

Virtually slamming the move to exclude Dhanraj Pillay from the Indian hockey probables for the Athens Olympics, ace leg-spinner Anil Kumble jumped to the defence of the veteran striker.

"It's surprising that someone like him is made to undergo the kind of ritual with the association (Indian Hockey F
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ederation)," Kumble said at a function in Bangalore, expressing solidarity with Pillay.

"Every sport requires a star; Dhanraj is the star of Indian hockey," the 84-Test veteran said. "It [Pillay's exclusion] can be sorted out for the benefit of Indian hockey and sports in general."

Emphasizing the importance of stars in the promotion of any game, the 33-year-old bowler said it is because of players like Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid that youngsters get attracted to cricket.

Kumble also voiced his support for other sports. While cricketers enjoy attention, affection and love of millions of Indians, it's important to recognize, identify and support other sportsmen also, he said.

Kumble, who inaugurated an exhibition on health, strongly suggested including sports in the school curriculum. He said like any other subject marks should be given for sports, rather than the present system of treating it as an extracurricular activity.

Making sports compulsory at school level would go a long way in promoting it in right spirit, and force children to look at sports seriously, Kumble advocated.

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