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Home > Sports > Hockey > PTI > Report


Bhaskaran keeps players on leash

September 06, 2006 18:01 IST

In an attempt to insulate his players from "outside elements" and make them focus on the World Cup, chief coach of the Indian hockey team Vasudevan Bhaskaran has forbidden them from meeting visitors in their hotel rooms.

"No more visitors to rooms of the players in our hotel," declared Bhaskaran, when a couple of Indian journalists visited him in Monchengladbach, Germany, last night.

"I want the players to remain fully focussed on the World Cup and visitors can meet them only in the hotel lobby, in my presence," said Bhaskaran, who is known to be a strict disciplinarian.

Players are being kept busy with a regimen of team meetings, practice sessions and video sessions, with carefully chosen periods for relaxation.

Also, a lot more significance is being laid on diet.

"We have done away with the practice of getting Indian food when on foreign tour. I think it is time our players got used to managing without home diet. Enough of this roti, dal fry and aloo sabji (potato vegetable)," said Bhaskaran.

In the past, visitors, including relatives, had unrestricted access to the players.

"I have put an end to all that since it was becoming a nuisance and a distraction. This is the World Cup and we need to be totally focussed," he added.

Even visits to the stadium to watch matches are regulated.

"I have insisted on the players sitting together to watch matches. Then they all return to the hotel," he said.

Defending his authoritarian style of functioning, Bhaskaran said: "We have come here for the specific purpose of playing in the World Cup and not to socialise."

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