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‘Powerless’ Rajpal to give up captaincy

India hockey captain Rajpal Singh has made up his mind to give up the captaincy.

india Updated: Nov 25, 2010 23:21 IST
Saurabh Duggal
Saurabh Duggal
Hindustan Times

India hockey captain Rajpal Singh has made up his mind to give up the captaincy.

He had taken the decision even before taking the field for the bronze-medal match against South Korea.

India beat South Korea to better their fifth-place finish in the last edition of the Games, but Rajpal remains firm on his decision even after the improved showing.

"I have no authority to speak on any issues related to the team. My role as a captain is restricted to going out only for a toss," Rajpal told HT from China.

"I have already made up my mind and will inform Narendra Batra about it when I reach back," he said.

A senior member of the side, too, confirmed that Rajpal had been given very limited role as a captain. "He was very upset over how he had been treated for the last few months. He has absolutely no authority over the team and no say in team's game plans and other issues," the player, not wanting to be named, said.

"Given how Jose Brasa has treated him, he fears the next coach too might dish out a similar treatment. So, he has decided to give up the captaincy," the player said.

Even during the World Cup a few months back, Brasa didn't accept Rajpal as the captain. The Spaniard then had directed him not to hold any team meetings or speak to the players before the start of the game or during half-time in the capacity of a captain.

"Even if Rajpal had some suggestion on team strategy, it was never heard," said another member of the side. Rajpal continued to get cold shoulder from the coach during the Sultan Azlan Shah Tournament and the Test series India featured in after the World Cup.

"The team, too, had started taking Rajpal for granted as he had no authority.

“In such a scenario, the skipper hesitated to make any suggestion even to the junior players," said one of the support staff.

Earlier after losing the semifinal, coach in-charge Harendra Singh, along with the support staff, had resigned.

First Published: Nov 25, 2010 23:17 IST