Dhanraj lashes out at Gill for ''wilful'' team selection

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Hisar, Nov 28 (UNI) Olympian Dhanraj Pillai today accused Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) Chief K P S Gill of continuing to select the Indian hockey team according to his whims and fancies.

''There were many good players who were out of the team just because of the IHF president's wilfulness, which was not only hurting the sportspersons but also the game,'' Pillai said while interacting with mediapersons after inaugurating the O P Jindal Hockey Academy here.

Venting his ire against the IHF chief over his unceremonious ouster from the national team, Dhanraj said he had the capability to play for the team even today. Criticising the functioning of the IHF, he stressed that even if the players of his stature had to be kept out of the team, the Federation should have the basic courtesy to according them a decent farewell.

Commenting on the standard of Indian hockey today, Dhanraj said that though the team had won some Asian tournaments recently, its mettle would be proven only after playing against the European teams. ''There is the difference of day and night between Asian and European hockey,'' the former Indian hockey captain claimed.

On the question of engaging a foreign coach, Dhanraj said that the move, though not a necessity right now, could prove helpful in aspects like conversion of penalty corners into goals.

While appreciating Shahrukh Khan's role as a coach in ''Chak De India'', Dharaj however observed that impact of such films fades away after sometime.

He also accused the media of giving a step-motherly treatment to hockey in comparision to cricket.


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