Under Rajpal Singh’s stewardship, India won silver in the 2010 Commonwealth Games and bronze at the Asian Games. Last year, he led the side to victory in the Asian Champions Trophy.
But following the success, he fell out of favour with Hockey India after turning down a cash incentive of R25,000. Now, he has caused a stir by joining the World Series of Hockey.
Excerpts from the interview:
What are the reasons for you deciding to join the WSH?
This year, I've got the opportunity to play only one match. So, I thought of becoming a part of the league in order to gain more match exposure.
HI has not given the nod to the WSH. Do you think they will consider you for the national squad after you've played in the rebel league?
I am always willing to play for India. I intend to take part in the league only to gain match practice. Most European players compete in their national leagues, so why this fuss?
Is money also a reason for you joining the WSH?
Hockey is my passion and everything else comes later. But, if we get paid for playing hockey, nothing like it.
According to coach Michael Nobbs, you were unfit for the national team…
Without making me take a fitness test, it’s unfair to tag me as unfit.