Prabhjot Singh and Deepak Thakur scored a goal each in the first half as India defeated the Netherlands 2-1 in a practice match under floodlights at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium on Thursday.
Prabhjot gave the hosts the lead before fiery penalty-corner specialist, Taeke Taekema, equalised. Soon, Thakur, who scored a field goal, restored India's supremacy.
Earlier, it was the Indian bureaucracy at its worst — or, shall we say, its best —as even though the media was allowed to cover the England-New Zealand tie, it was told that the India-Holland tie would be out of bounds.
The powers-that-be — and they are dime a dozen — collectively decided that after the England-New Zealand tie, a photo opportunity would be given to the media where the teams would simulate some moves and answer queries before rushing off for cooling down exercises.
It was a move, which caught the accredited journalists, numbering around 30, unawares. To top it all, no one was willing to give a clue as to who gave these instructions. The PR firm handling the accreditation process for the Organising Committee initially claimed that the directives had come from the Sports Authority of India (SAI), the department that owns and maintains the stadium.
SAI director-general, Sayan Chatterjee, when asked said, the stadium had been handed over to the organisers and that SAI had nothing to do with it. A Sports Ministry spokesman also clarified that SAI had not given any such instructions.
Later, it transpired that the Delhi Police had issued the instructions, as it would not be "possible for them" to provide security at both the pitches at the same time. With the security aspect already being overdone, it's strange that the various agencies were nervous about providing security in a 150-200-metre area. And with just 30-odd people.
Frantic calls paid dividends and the journalists were allowed to enter the stadium to watch some action. Metal detectors and scanners --- the likes installed at airports --- were hurriedly put in place at one of the rear gates, and after stringent checks, the media was allowed in.
The episode threw up just one question: Who actually is running the World Cup? The Organising Committee, comprising the Indian Olympic Association and Hockey India, the international hockey federation (FIH) or the Delhi Police.