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India done in by poor umpiring: Harendra
July 12, 2005 21:12 IST
Advocating the introduction of a third umpire in hockey, junior hockey team coach Harendra Singh said human errors cost India a podium finish in the recently-concluded World Cup in Rotterdam, Holland.
"We had worked hard for four years for the tournament, but we were done in by some poor umpiring. I think it's high time that the third umpire be introduced in hockey, as human errors can spoil a team's chances, as it happened to us in the World Cup," Harendra said on Tuesday.
India failed to retain the title it won in Hobart, Australia, in 2001, finishing fourth in the tournament, won by Argentina.
Harendra, who returned from Rotterdam with the rest of the team in the early hours of Tuesday, said the team was done in by poor umpiring in the semi-final against Australia.
He said he was very disappointed with the results since they do not reflect the true potential of the team.
"I feel sorry that we could not retain the title. I am disappointed about not finishing on the podium.
"I am satisfied with the performance of the team, but certainly not with the results."
Harendra said despite the fourth-place finish, the team played very well throughout the tournament though it needed to be a little more consistent.
"The world's leading coaches like (Paul) Lissek, Richard (Charlesworth) all seemed quite impressed with the way the Indians played in the competition," Harendra added.
"I must give credit to the players, as despite the loss to Spain in the league stage, they pulled their socks up and played brilliantly.
"The team never choked under pressure though it made some silly mistakes against Australia. We dominated the match for most part but still lost it."
Harendra said the team benefited from the experience of seven to nine players who played for the Indian senior team.
He also lauded drag-flicker Sandeep Singh's performance.
"Sandeep is not only a match-winner; he is a tournament winner. He scored 12 goals from 23 penalty-corners. His performance is one of the satisfying areas for the team."
Asked why Sandeep had not been so effective while playing for the senior national team, he said, "He has always delivered under me. Maybe, some other coaches do not know how to use him."
Harendra said he would be submitting his report to Indian Hockey Federation president K P S Gill in a day or two.