‘Captaincy issue won’t affect performance’
National hockey coach Harendra Singh on Thursday just stopped short of conceding that the team was divided on the issue of captaincy, but added it won’t affect the team’s performance in the forthcoming World Cup.india Updated: Feb 12, 2010 00:28 IST
National hockey coach Harendra Singh on Thursday just stopped short of conceding that the team was divided on the issue of captaincy, but added it won’t affect the team’s performance in the forthcoming World Cup.
The captaincy issue has been hogging headlines ever since Rajpal Singh was retained skipper for the prestigious tournament even though Spanish chief coach, Jose Brasa, and a majority of the players were in favour of Prabhjot Singh.
“The episode will not affect the team’s performance in the World Cup. It is a closed chapter,” said Harendra, adding that there were no divisions in the side.
“At this stage it (captaincy) is a closed chapter. If anyone has any problem, Brasa and I will discuss the matter with the authorities concerned,” said Harendra, adding that he had discussed the matter with Prabhjot and Rajpal and things were fine.
“I talked to Prabhjot and Rajpal yesterday and tried to convince them. So far, there is no division in the team. The boys played two practice games against local sides yesterday and today and the captaincy issue did not affect them. I expect a very good result in the World Cup, considering the effort put in by the boys,” said Harendra.
The coach also cited the example of Sachin Tendulkar and said hockey players should take cue from the iconic cricketer “who has no issues playing under a junior despite being arguably the greatest batsman in the world”.
The coach said that in a democratic country like India, everyone was free to give his views and Prabhjot had only exercised his right. “It is not wrong.”
NOC for Pak team by Sports Ministry
Karachi: The Pakistan Sports Ministry on Thursday issued a No-Objection Certificate to the national hockey team to participate in the World Cup from Feb 28. “The Sports Ministry has decided as a matter of policy that it had no objection to our national teams playing India in any multi-national event,” a ministry spokesman said.
The spokesman, however, clarified that the NOC was subject to clearance from the country’s Foreign Affairs and Interior ministries as well.