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Indian hockey team strikes again

January 11, 2010 10:50 IST

The disgruntled national hockey players on Monday continued their indefinite boycott of the World Cup preparatory camp to protest the non-payment of their dues and incentives.

The squad, demanding incentives for their performance in the year gone by, had on Sunday decided to go on strike despite reaching a truce with Hockey India officials in New Delhi just a day before.

"We are not training from this morning. We are waiting for Hockey India officials to arrive. We came to know that Hockey India officials are coming to meet the team. The team will have a meeting with them and let's see what happens," said senior forward Prabhjot Singh, who has been appointed by his team-mates as their representative.

"Hopefully, things will be resolved by this evening. If all the boys are satisfied with the outcome, we will end the strike immediately," he added.

Hockey India on Sunday reacted sharply to players' decision with treasurer Narinder Batra accusing them of blackmailing the Federation and holding the nation to ransom.

"It's really shocking. They agreed to our offer yesterday and now they are back on strike. They can't hold a nation to ransom," he said.

Batra claimed HI listened to every grievances of the players and offered a solution too.

"They talked about insurance cover, graded systems and even the alleged poor quality of food they had at the Pune camp. We told them what we can immediately do. We even agreed to compensate for the poor food, arrange a meeting with the sponsor as they demanded and HI president (AK Mattoo) went to the extent of promising them Rs 1 crore each if they win the World Cup. We said we would get the money anyhow for them."

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