Top players who were ignored during KPS Gill's tenure as IHF Chief will be given a chance to prove their worth again, according to new chairman of selection panel Aslam Sher Khan who says he will adopt "an altogether different approach" to revive Indian hockey.
Khan, a former player and national selector who had resigned owing to differences with IHF administration on selection process, said he had his own plans to get Indian hockey back on track and will seek to bring transparency and professionalism in the selection process.
"Earlier there used to be a bunch of 50-60 players and teams were selected as if they are playing musical chair. There have been instances when a player was selected for an international event despite he not having played even in domestic hockey. This will not happen now and we will select the team after several rounds of trials," he told PTI-Bhasha in an interview on Tuesday.
He also said players like Gagan Ajit Singh, Len Aiyappa, and Arjun Halappa, who were sidelined during Gill's term, would be taken into consideration during team selection.
"For the first time in history, former players are involved in Indian hockey administration. We will try to bring back it's old glory. Our first priority will be to make the administration accountable and to bring transparency in team selection process," Khan said.
The selection panel, led by Khan, also includes former Olympians Zafar Iqbal, Ashok Kumar, Ajit Pal Singh and Dhanraj Pillay. It was formed after the Indian Olympic Association suspended the IHF and appointed an ad-hoc committee in its place.
The "unanimous" decision to suspend IHF was taken following the sting operation which caught secretary K Jothikumaran purportedly accepting bribe to select a player in the national team.
About his plans to uplift the morale of players, Khan replied their morale would automatically be high after the the end of the Gill regime.
"Now they will not have any insecurities. Otherwise, they never knew who is going to be the next target of Gill Saab, who ruined the career of several talented players," said the former Olympian.
He said he wants the Indian team to be a united and powerful force as shown in Bollywood flick 'Chak de India'.
"We have to make a Team India as you have seen in Bollywood blockbuster 'Chak de India'. There are players from several part of the country. We have to unite them to make a powerful force," he said.
"We don't have any competition with cricket. We will try to popularise hockey through better performance at international level. It's also neccessary to host international tournaments," he said .
He also indicated that Indian hockey team will now play less international events overseas.
"It is not neccessary to play each and every tournament. It hurts when we lose. We will now select tournaments and prepare for that accordingly," said Khan.