Hockey’s Crisis

LET ME START off by telling you all, I am a pretty recent fan of Indian hockey. I have been taking consistent interest in hockey only in the last few years. However, the game is clearly in our blood. Hockey is India’s pride and the first real sport in which Dhyan Chand and company, in the good old days of the 1930s, won our first Olympic gold medals. Since then, the game has been called the national game. However, that fact is very much a statistical dilemma. Unofficially, hockey is not our national sport. Due to the overtures of cricket, hockey has had a strange and sudden decline (more characteristically defined by our 11th place WC finish). Let me tell you that Indian hockey is not at all short of heroes. Gagan Ajit Singh remains one of the world’s most flamboyant and dynamic center/left forwards today while skipper Dilip Tirkey is a world-class defender who is rock solid in the Indian defence. Right-sided player Arjun Halappa is one of the most explosive players in hockey today while Viren Rasquinha’s operations in defensive midfield are the envy of the world.However, the Indian public is becoming highly non-appreciative of this. It is so unfair that cricket, despite the more than occasional poor performances, garners the same interest while hockey plummeting to the shallows has caused a complete withdrawal of interest from Indian fans.India does have Sachin Tendulkar. But India also has Dhanraj Pillay and some of the others mentioned before. We also have the privilege of having one of the greatest to dribble with the willow, Dhyan Chand, as part of our glorious pre-Independence history in hockey.Hockey rocks guys. Start watching India’s performances, encourage your friends, and bring it in your day-to-day chats, even if it comes at the cost of Bollywood and cricket gossip. These are some of the ways you can make hockey a part of our culture once again. Moreover, you don’t have to look around. Hockey is in you. It is a part of our red blood cells. For once, it is our national game.

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