What he said:
“Hockey players do not have shoes to wear.”
Indian hockey team skipper, Rajpal Singh, is justifiably bitter about the treatment meted out to hockey players and other sportsmen. The proud Sikh was speaking to Gaurav Kanthwal of the Times Of India (TOI) News Network following the recent fiasco wherein returning triumphant players were offered a piddly reward of Rs. 25,000 each for bringing home the inaugural Asian Champions Trophy.
In an earlier interview, the Indian captain slammed the revised prize money of Rs. 1.5 lakhs saying:
It was total injustice. It’s not just about 18 to 20 players who go play hockey, it’s about national pride, and they should have at least treated us well. Unless they encourage and motivate players, how can we promote the game? It’s very disappointing. We ought to have been rewarded well… It was wrong and this is not the way to treat the national players. Such incentives will not only demotivate us.
Field hockey is the national sport of India.
Jab sponsorship ki baat hoti hain toh players ko pata hi nahi chalta hain ki kya ho raha hain. (When it comes to sponsorship, the players are clueless as to what’s happening.) Even when we travel abroad the sports authority of India spends and takes care of us. We wear sponsor shirts but, pata nahi kyun. Kuch nahi milta woh shirt pehenkar. (Nothing comes of wearing the sponsor’s shirt). Every player in the team’s upset.
Rajpal added that the Indian hockey skipper is hardly recognised as compared to his cricketing counterpart, MS Dhoni:
Agar hum cricket ko compare kare,BCCI ko hatake aur government ki baat kare toh cricket ko bhi utna hi izzat deti jitna hockey ko. (The government should give equal importance to hockey). But when they won the World Cup, then every state government facilitated (sic) their captain. Main apni baat nahi kah raha hoon, lekin hockey team ke captain ko kabhi bhi Dhoni ki tarah dekha nahi jaata hain. (I am not referring to myself but no hockey captain is adulated like Dhoni).
What Rajpal really meant:
“Rs, 25,000 can buy no more than two pairs of decent sports shoes. There are no real sponsors.”
“I wish the BCCI were running Indian hockey. They’d monetise everything.”
“We’re playing hockey, not hooky.”
What Rajpal definitely didn’t:
“It kind of reminds me of the glorious Indian past when our predecessors played barefoot.”
“I have always played with a straight bat and never played a reverse sweep. It is shameful that I have been targeted.”
Dilip Vengsarkar is disappointed that he has been targeted by the Vilasrao Deshmukh faction in the run-up to the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) elections. The former Indian captain is gunning for the post of President.
What he really meant:
“In our time, the reverse sweep was a high risk shot. Now, it’s almost pedestrian compared to the switch hit.”
“Politicians try all kinds of shots. You see, they’ve never played the game.”
What he definitely didn’t:
“This is a sticky wicket. A vicious turn of events.”
“It’s about as common as Indians eating beef burgers."
Australian umpire, Daryl Harper, takes a huge swipe at Indian cricketers— simultaneously defending his track record, following the criticism directed at him by the Indian captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni. In a series of caustic remarks—interpreted by some as having racist overtones— that included “I should never have applied the laws of cricket to Indian players.", the Australian let fly letting Indians know how he felt about their accusations. Harper says that the ICC proved that 94% of his decisions were right and that his mistakes were as rare as Indians eating beef.
What he really meant:
“That’s how strongly I feel. So there!”
What he definitely didn’t:
“I’m a vegetarian.”
“McDonald’s have offered me a job—in India.”
“We are the champions – my friends
And we’ll keep on fighting
Till the end
We are the champions
We are the champions
No time for losers
‘Cause we are the champions of the World”
Freddie Mercury’s lyrics may seem trite and overused. Yet they never fail to send out the right message.
Team India are champions of the world.
Nothing and no one can take that away from Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his boys.
MS Dhoni bowled a bouncer at the ICC: Image via Wikipedia
The Irish rode their luck—the other night—to throw a spanner in England’s attempt to progress to the quarter-finals.
Kevin , the other O’Brien—younger brother to Niall who rang the curtain call on Pakistan’s exit in the 2007 World Cup—hit the fastest World Cup century ever off just 50 balls.
He was cool, calm and collected. He was to the manor born.
If there was any doubt that talent exists in the lower echelons of the ICC, Kevin O’Brien and Ryan ten Doeschate blew those vacillations to smithereens.
IPL barons, take note.
Saurav Ganguly is going, going, gone…
The Bengali player’s hopes of participating in IPL4 were dealt a death-blow by objections raised by Royal Challengers Bangalore,Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals. Team Kochi had evinced interest in the former Indian captain but could sign him on only if none of the other franchisees demurred. The iconic batsman remained unsold in the 2011 auction.
Although Ganguly fans—particularly Kolkattans—will be disappointed, bending over backwards to accommodate anyone is not the way to run a premier tournament. Accusations of ad-hoc decision making were leveled against Lalit Modi, the ex-IPL honcho. Modifying the rules to suit two interested parties is not in the best interest of the IPL. The IPL Governing Council is managing a business, not a charity.
Besides, if the Kochi team really needed the ex-skipper on their side, they ought to have purchased him outright when they had the opportunity. The chasing after Ganguly now smacks of ill-preparation. Verily, a case of putting the cart before the horse.
There’s trouble brewing in the small state of Indian Hockey. Or maybe it’s gold rush fever. You cannot have smoke without a fire unless it’s dry ice. What would you call that—a smoke screen? But I digress.
The launch of the World Series Hockey (League) by Nimbus Sports and The Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) on Tuesday, the 28th of December, 2010 witnessed another twist in the faceoff between the FIH approved Hockey India and the Indian government recognised IHF.
Hockey India is the current arbiter of the team selections for international tournaments. (The IHF fell out of favour with the international administrative body(FIH) because of its inability to bring the men’s and women’s representation under a single umbrella.)
Dhoni may be the Indian cricketer with the most endorsements but Tendulkar makes more money per deal than the Indian captain. Dhoni boasts of a Rs. 180 crore deal and has over 20 brands in his portfolio.
Tendulkar has fourteen endorsements and charges around Rs. 6 – Rs. 7 crores per client. Tendulkar has always been selective about his clientele — the number of brands endorsed hovers around twelve to fifteen at a time.
Contrast this to Saina Nehwal’s recent hike in her price from Rs. 50 lakhs to a high of a crore and you can see the yawning difference in how other sports stars are treated in this country.
Keep in mind that cricket has just ten Test playing nations. It’s not quite cricket, is it?