hockey, News, sports

“If you’re over 30, you’re over,” says Hockey India

If you’re 30+, you’re past it, over the hill, or simply put, too old.

Ageism hit Indian hockey players in the form of an arbitrary ruling from Hockey India (HI) preventing dribblers and keepers past 30 from participating in the Hockey India League (HIL).

Adrian D’souza, Deepak Thakur and Prabhjot Singh find themselves out in the cold without a blanket to keep them warm.

The rule is discriminatory. Foreign players have no such restrictions.

The IPL has no such problems accommodating retired cricketers and on the wrong side of 40. Look at Pravin Tambe.

You can argue that hockey is a different game where fitness is of paramount significance.

The logo of Hockey India

The logo of Hockey India (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Then fitness tests should be made the criteria, not a number that informs clubs what your birth year is.

English: Dhanraj Pillay, former Indian field h...

Dhanraj Pillay, former Indian field hockey player and captain, attending annual sports meet of GGSIPU in Delhi as a chief guest. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dhanraj Pillay turned out for India till the age of 36.

Four Olympics, World Cups,Champions Trophy and Asian Games figure against his name. He still plays hockey at the club level for Karnataka Lions.

Does he have nothing to say?


Dhanraj Pillay, Air India coach, slammed Hockey India for its perverse logic saying:

“I request Narinder Batra to reconsider the decision. Players like Adrian D’Souza, Arjun Halappa, Prabodh Tirkey have left a deep impact on hockey and they are still as capable as they were a few years back. If foreigners who are above the age of 30 can be accommodated, I am sure Indians can as well.

These players have given invaluable services to the sport. Even today in places like Punjab, Delhi, Haryana and Chandigarh, they are a household name. I don’t understand the logic. If we can have foreign players who are much older in the auctions, then why not Indians? Someone like Adrian is still going so well, and deserves to be part of the league purely on form and merit. I request Narinder Batra (HI President) to look into the matter and treat Indians the same way.”


I have been an IT professional with over 12 years professional experience. I'm an B.Sc. in Statistics, M.Sc in Computer Science (University of Mumbai) and an MBA from the Cyprus International Institute of Management. I have completed levels I and II of the CFA course. Blogging is a part-time vocation. I am also the author of four books, Those Glory Days: Cricket World Cup 2011, IPL Vignettes, Poems: An Anthology, and It's a Petting Sport---all available on Amazon Worldwide.


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