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Hockey team finally gets its due

October 15, 2007 14:44 IST

A series of felicitations and awards, including an invitation from President Pratibha Patil, awaits the Asia Cup hockey championship winning team.

A grand function will be hosted by Bollywood star and Member of Parliament Raj Babbar in Agra on October 30. Then a felicitation function will be organised at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on November 1.

The players will be feted by the Bombay Hockey Association on November 3 while the Maharashtra Government and Chairman of the State Bank of India will honour them on Nov 5.

The SBI will hand over cash awards to the players, while BHA has decided to give Rs 1 lakh to each of the team members and Rs 1.25 lakh to coach Joaquim Carvalho.

Carvalho said he had received communication from the Maharashtra Government that hockey players from the state Adrian D'Souza, Gurbaj Singh, Shivendra Singh, Olympian M M Somayya, Technical Director of the national team, and himself will be felicitated at a function along with the players of the Twenty20 World Cup winning team from the state.

"We are grateful to the President for deciding to meet the team members. The players cherish the President's individual letters congratulating the team for the win.

"Every sportsperson needs to be recognised. The cricket players deserve the cash awards. We thank the respective governments and politicians, who are extending financial and other benefits to the hockey players as well," he said.

Carvalho, however, said that the players were unhappy with Sahara, the sponsors of both cricket and hockey teams, for ignoring the Asia Cup win.

"Sahara has announced a house each for the cricketers but they are maintaining a silence over helping its hockey stars," he said.

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