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Dhanraj confident of comeback
April 26, 2006 20:22 IST
Fading hockey star Dhanraj Pillay made a strong plea for a recall to the Indian team, saying youngsters in the side need experienced players like him to guide them through important events like the Asian Games and World Cup later this year.
The 37-year-old veteran, who last played for India in the Athens Olympics in 2002, said he is completely fit and can withstand the rigours of international hockey.
"I am confident of making a comeback and if tomorrow I am told to give a fitness test I am ready for that," Dhanraj declared on Wednesday.
"I am in good shape. My speed is still there and I have performed well in the PHL [Premier Hockey League] as well as in Malaysia. Now it is up to the management to take notice of my performance," he said.
Dhanraj said the current team lacks bench strength and needs experienced players for guidance.
"It is all okay to have young players in the team but you also need players with experience who can guide them. They have a very important role to play.
"We are lacking in bench strength and there should be a pool of 30-40 players always ready to play," he said.
He also said that with the Asian Games and World Cup not very far away, proper preparation is necessary.
"There are many important assignments coming up. Training camps for players are necessary to be in the right frame of mind before important outings."
Dhanraj, who was in Delhi for a felicitation function, said, "It is an honour for me to be here among these great hockey players."