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Home > Sports > Hockey > PTI > Report

Gagan Ajit blames selectors for debacle

December 26, 2006 21:11 IST

The Indian Hockey Federation's selection policy came under fire from a couple of players on Tuesday, with forward Gagan Ajit Singh saying the selectors must own up responsibility for the national side's poor showing in international tournaments.

"Why do we blame only the coach and players. As the selectors claim credit for the team's good show, they should also take responsibility for the side's debacle," he said at a function in Chandigarh to promote the Premier Hockey League.

Gagan Ajit said the regular "chopping-and-changing policy" of the IHF also breeds a lot of insecurity among the players.

While claiming that he is fully fit, drag-flicker Jugraj Singh also pointed a finger at the selection procedure.

"I have at least ten years of hockey left in me. I think I am fully fit for international matches, but if I am not given a chance how can I assess and improve upon my weak areas," he said.

On the below par showing of the national team in international meets, defender Kanwalpreet Singh said the team should be stable and players needed to be backed up to build their confidence.

"Players need confidence. If there will be no stability in the team, you can't give results overnight," he said.

Kanwalpreet said the hockey team of 2001-02 comprised many players who had played together from the junior level, which helped them understand each other better.

Jugraj attributed the poor show of the national team to the lack of dedication among players.

"Players should be honest to themselves. The (winning) spirit among the players is definitely missing. Compare the present team with the one in 2001-02 and you will notice the stark difference," the 24-year-old said.

Jugraj said a pool of players should be raised to meet any exigency.

"When I met with a car accident, there was no drag-flicker who could immediately replace me. Again this problem surfaced when Sandeep Singh sustained (gunshot wounds) injury (before the World Cup)," he said.

Jugraj said the lack of adequate facilities, including less number of astroturfs, results in players jostling with each other to get enough practice hours.

"When you have a whole generation growing up on watching cricket matches, if you don't give adequate facilities to the players who can save the fall in popularity of the national game," Jugraj said.

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