17 June, 2021

No More Hookey

Indian hockey has come out of its dreamless slumber—despite penury and cricket

No More Hookey
Tendulkar’s, the restaurant Sachin runs in Mumbai, is so reasonably priced that even the Indian hockey team can afford to go there. But if the boys want bigger helpings, one is not so sure. Underpaid and treated with unique Indian apathy, the team has never really enjoyed a lifestyle proportional to its sublime skills. But all that is changing after some astonishing wins recently. Just when it was beginning to look like only a compassionate ngo could feed these stick artists, a corporate outfit has pledged faith, and more importantly, money, in the team.

In the last 23 years, since the gold medal at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, Indian hockey has taken us all on a rollercoaster ride, often making fools out of pundits and pundits out of fools. Yet, despite the many ups and downs, the very core of the sport in which this country once ruled the world has remained unshaken. Hockey in India has shown itself to be a great survivor. The sport has weathered the worst of administrators, coaches, virtual penury, media apathy and a system that is all but invisible, if not totally...

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