Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Nothing seems to be going as per plan for the Indian hockey team ahead of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi and the forthcoming Asian Games scheduled for November. This is a conclusion one can draw after two sets of scheduled practice matches were called off.
It is learnt that the team's seven-day preparatory tour to Guangzhou, China stands cancelled.

The tour was originally scheduled for September. Strangely, chief coach Jose Brasa was kept out of the loop regarding the status of the tour, which according to him was planned in April.

“I have no clue if the team will be going to China. The tour was scheduled way back (April) and lately we have received no communication from any authority,” he said.

Coach Jose Brasa (right) says tour would have helped the Asian Games preparations
The objective behind the China tour was to get the players familiar with the the Asian Games venue. At the same time, the players would have been able to tune in for the Commonwealth Games as well.

Brasa said, “The team will get a direct entry to the 2012 London Olympics if it wins the Asian Games.”

As if the cancellation of the Guangzhou trip was not enough, it is learnt that the team will not be playing three practice games against Korea either.

Brasa, however, is clueless about this development as well and remains hopeful of some good practice before the big tournaments.

The Indian team expects to play practice games against England (September 26 to 28), Australia (September 29 and 30) and Trinidad & Tobago in the first week of October.

As far as preparedness for the mega events is concerned, the team is well behind schedule in terms of match-practice.

According to the planner, the team should have been in or back from Guangzhou right now. Moreover, the camp should have been shifted to New Delhi much before the Games commence.

Brasa, yet again, was unaware of any development in terms of the team shifting its camp to New Delhi. “I don’t know when the team is leaving for Delhi. I think it's high time the team practices at the main venue before the visiting teams start coming in.

Once the other teams arrive, the pitch will be used on a rotation basis so that everyone gets a chance to play at the main venue,” he said.

The team it was learnt will leave for New Delhi on September 18. The players are likely to visit the Golden Temple in Amritsar to seek blessings prior to the games