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Prime Minister bats for Indian hockey team

Manmohan Singh has instructed the Director of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) to upgrade facilities at its Bangalore centre so that Indian hockey team could train in a better way.

india Updated: Nov 03, 2007 03:49 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has instructed the Director of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) to upgrade facilities at its Bangalore centre so that Indian hockey team could train in a better way, coach Joaquim Carvalho revealed on Wednesday.

Carvalho said the Prime Minister Singh asked the players what was lacking with Indian hockey and what was its immediate requirement, when he hosted a high tea for the Asia Cup winning team in New Delhi.

"When I replied that we urgently require floodlight facilities at SAI Centre in Bangalore where we generally train before any international tournament, the Prime Minister moved to Ratan Vattal (SAI Director) to check the position. Then, Singh in our presence advised him to install it immediately," Carvalho told PTI.

The Indian coach hoped that flood-light facilities would be ready soon as they prepare for Olympic Qualifier event in Chile next year.

"An assurance to this effect was given by the Director of SAI to the Prime Minister," Carvalho said.

"We also requested laying of an astro turf at Coorg in Karnataka since its mountain terrain would be ideal for training. PM also took this issue up with the SAI official. We have been guaranteed that floodlights in SAI Bangalore and a turf in Coorg would be installed soon," he added.