Monday, Dec 15, 2003
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By Our Hockey Correspondent
In a letter to his counterpart, Mr. Satgunam, the IHF Secretary, Mr.K. Jothikumaran, while maintaining that the prerogative of selecting the national team is best left to the selectors than to an assessment another federation, has pointed out that the probables included as many as 13 with international playing experience.
The list contains some of the outstanding players, two World Cup captains, Dhanraj Pillay and Baljit Singh Dhillon, who share among them more than 500 international appearances besides the seasoned Baljit Singh Saini. The letter also underlines the fact that after the Asia Cup triumph, the IHF had made as many as seven changes in the team for the Afro-Asian Games, and the squad won the gold against Pakistan.
While assuring that the team selected will match the competition from the rest in the fray, the IHF Secretary has also drew attention to the fact that a handful of juniors included for the camp had performed exceedingly well in the International tournament in Poland beating opponents by huge margins. It has also been explained that those dropped from the list were either showing sings of fatigue after tournaments both international and domestic (despite advise from the IHF to ignore some events as to preserve their physical fitness) or nursing injuries. The IHF has also indicated that if the explanation is unsatisfactory to MHF, then India is prepared to stay out of the competition if a better substitute is found. According to information, England and New Zealand is keen to participate and the MHF is inclined to go for one of them.
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