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Decision to rest seniors correct: Pillay

October 03, 2003 20:01 IST

India hockey captain Dhanraj Pillay welcomed the Indian Hockey Federation's decision to rest senior players for the Afro-Asian Games, saying it will provide younger players an opportunity to showcase their skills at the highest level.

"We have been playing quite a lot for the last 7-8 months. I think it is a right decision to give rest to the seniors," he said.

Asked whether absence of senior players like Baljit Dhillon and Baljit Saini will affect the team's showing at the Games, which will also feature arch-rivals Pakistan, Pillay replied in the negative, saying the junior players are good enough to "play a tough game".

The 36-year-old veteran of three Olympics [1992, 1996, 2000] and four World Cups [1990, 1994, 1998 and 2002] added, "I am very happy that junior boys will get a chance to play in the inaugural Afro-Asian Games."

Pillay led India to the Asian Games gold medal in 1998 and the recent Asia Cup triumph in Kuala Lumpur.

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