'Don't ask me anything about Indian hockey', fumes Dhanraj


Former captain Dhanraj Pillay is not interested in talking about Indian hockey anymore after India's forgettable London Olympics performance and also questioned the rationale behind appointing foreign coaches.

"Please don't ask me anything about Indian hockey. 12 teams mein se 12th finish karna ... Ab isse bhi bura kuchh ho sakta hai kya (When the country finishes 12th out of 12... Can it be worse than this)?" asked Pillay.

"Till Olympics, we kept our mouth shut. But what now? It's really surprising that nobody is talking about the debacle and in fact now looking to win a medal in Rio 2016!

"First take the corrective measures for what went wrong (in London), then start talking about Rio ... But nobody is bothered," the four-time Olympian said.

Post-Olympics, as India begin to rebuild by playing in the Super Series in Australia followed by Champions Trophy, Pillay has strong objections to India's coach Michael Nobbs -- or for that matter any foreign coach.

"Indian hockey cannot grow under a foreign coach. There is a strong divide in the culture that results in communication gap. I don't understand how India decides to renew the contract with the coach paying a fat salary even after the debacle in London.

"You have to bring a coach from a player's point of view and a foreign coach is not suited for India," the former mercurial striker said.

Pillay also felt sad that big fan-based Kolkata clubs like Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and Mohmmadan Sporting have stopped producing hockey teams.

"The three clubs were very popular in my days... I'm sure hockey will develop if they start to have hockey teams again. It will really benefit Bengal.

"I've some good memories of Kolkata. I remember coming here as a 20-year-old for a function that had legendary players like Leslie Claudius, Keshav Dutt. It was really inspirational."

Pillay had earlier expressed his intention to join the administration and resolve the dispute between Hockey India and IHF.

He had said that if HI continued to rule Indian hockey, performance will not improve in the next five years and it was time that the sports minister dissolved both HI and IHF and form a new unified body which should have sportspersons in it.

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