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Pillay unhappy with Rach's treatment

The 36-year-old veteran striker is unhappy that he did not figure in the starting list of what was his last game in the Olympics.
PTI | By M R Mishra (PTI), Athens
PUBLISHED ON AUG 27, 2004 05:40 PM IST

India's star striker Dhanraj Pillay is unhappy that he did not figure in the starting list of what was his last game in the Olympics, saying that probably the coach did not think him good enough for the match.

The 36-year-old Pillay, who has been at the centre of a controversy for his critical remarks against coach Gerhard Rach, came in towards the fag end in the classification match against South Korea on Friday and had another swipe at his German-born coach.

"It is sad that I did not get to play a little more. It was my last Olympics and I wanted to contribute. But may be the coach felt that Adam Sinclair was a better player than Pillay," he said after the match, which India won 5-2 to take the seventh position in the Olympics.

The Indian think tank opted to keep the veterans like Pillay and Baljeet Singh Dhillon out of the last match and tried out the youngsters for most part of the game, a clear indication that the duo would be eased out of the squad.

Indian Hockey Federation president KPS Gill also gave a clear hint when he said he was looking at building a young team as players above 28 years of age should not play in the Olympics.

When asked about his retirement plans, Pillay said: "I have not taken any decision. I will play in the Malaysian league for one and half months and shall take a decision after returning home."

He was extremely unhappy since the coach did not consider him for the first eleven and team sources said that he was unwilling to take the field for only a few minutes.

The star striker apparently told the coach that it was his last match in the Olympics and deserved to play for a longer time but Rach was not impressed much.

The coach reportedly told Pillay that if he refused to take the field, India would play with ten players.

The temparamental striker is known to have problems with the coaches of the past like Cedric D'Souza, Vasudevan Baskaran and even Rajinder Singh, who was sacked just a few weeks before the Olympics and replaced by Rach.

But the German is known to be a disciplinarian and has not been much amused with Pillay's temparamental ways and has made it clear to the team members that indicipline would not be tolerated.

Pillay was initially reluctant to talk to the Indian scribes who met him just outside the Helliniko Hockey centre but decided to briefly give his views.

"I dont want to talk, I'll go back to India and say whatever I have to. But yes, I am sad for a lot of things".

On his favourite team to win the hockey gold medal, Pillay said, "It will be a tough match but I think Holland will win."

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