Mumbai, Sep 28 (UNI) The State Bank of India (SBI), moved by the fervent pleas of the Indian hockey community to grant recognition to the hockey players who won the Asia Cup in Chennai recently, today decided to award Rs 5 lakh each to the members of the Indian hockey team.
''There was no agenda but spontaneity of the issue caught each of us in the board meeting and everybody said we should announce a token of appreciation to the hockey team,'' SBI chairman O P Bhatt said in a release issued here today.
''The SBI, which never in its 200 years history has announced any reward for cricketers, was moved by theme of the film 'Chak De India' and the spirit of the lead character Shah Rukh Khan,'' he added.
Bhatt further said in the release that it ''was a matter of national pride that our young players in the national hockey team have lifted the coveted Asia Cup with several records to their names''.
The SBI award will to some extent soothe the Indian hockey team which is feeling neglected in the backdrop of the cash awards being showered on the Twenty20 World Cup winning cricketers.