India is hosting the Hockey World Cup. Its from 28Feb, 2010 - 13th March 2010.
Be a fan of Indian team. I wish that the sports bar screen these matches. It will be a real enjoyment and promotion of the game.
The difference in treatment given to players for winning the T20 World Cup and 7th Hockey Asian Cup proves that we are distancing ourselves from our national game. Where cricketers are treated as heroes, hockey players do not even get their due credit.
Indian cricket team received Rs 2 crores as a tournament prize after winning the T20 World Cup. BCCI, the governing body of Indian cricket announced Rs 8 crores for winning the final. BCCI even gave away Rs 4 crores for reaching the final and Rs 1 crore for Yuvraj Singh alone. Players received cash awards up to Rs. 21 lakhs from the state governments to which they belong. Funniest! Uthappa received Rs. 3 lakh from government of Kerala, just for the reason that his mother is from Kerala. Players received apartments worth Rs.25 lakhs from Sahara. A new award, ’Jharkhand Ratna’ honour was introduced for the first time and presented to Dhoni for making the state proud.News channels ran special news bulletin, editions and highlights throughout the night. Special news editions, cover stories and posters were covered in almost all the newspapers for the next two days. There was heroes’ welcome for the team on their arrival in Mumbai. They were graciously received from the airport and given a gala welcome by the Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, Deputy CM R R Patil and their Cabinet colleagues. There was 30 km long victory procession organized that lasted over five hours. I think even the erstwhile kings of the country might have envied this Maharaja’s treatment.
And what was the reward of winning Asia Cup team?
Individual greeting message was sent by our Honorable President. For the news channels and papers, it was just a sports news item and featured in the sports section. No special mention in electronic media or print media about the team or players. IHF had announced an incentive for the team where they would receive Rs 1000 for every goal scored and lose Rs 2000 for every goal conceded. What a lucrative incentive! The state governments did not even send a congratulatory note to the respective players of the state; forget about the honour and prize.
The promise that Indian hockey players have shown recently reflects that the revival of hockey in India is not a dream. It is going to be a reality. I surely hope so!
CHAK DE INDIA.