Mumbai, Apr 30 (UNI) Former India captain Dhanraj Pillay is glad that he has finally got a chance to give back to the game of hockey, thanks to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).
Dhanraj Pillay was named by the IOA on the five-member selection committee after they disbanded the Indian Hockey Association. The other members are Aslam Sher Khan, who will be the chairman, Ajit Pal Singh, Zafar Iqbal and Ashok Kumar.
The IOA stepped in after the secretary general Jothikumaran was caught by a TV channel in a sting operation for demanding money to take a player into the Indian team.
Speaking here, the four-time Olympian said, ''I hope I can live up to expectations and play a crucial role in reviving hockey.'' Dhanraj, however, said he was not really expecting the fall of IHF and its president KPS Gill. ''He (Gill) kept saying he won't resign, but he had to go simply, because in the last decade or so (since 1996), he had become very arrogant and (behaved) like a dictator. You cannot run a sport like that.
Speaking about his immediate challenges, Dhanraj said, ''The 2009 Commonwealth Games and the 2010 World Cup in New Delhi is a priority.'' ''But I strongly believe we must concentrate on the 2010 Asian Games in China. Remember Indian hockey's downfall began in the 2006 Doha Games,'' Dhanraj said.
Elaborating on his task, he said, ''This is the toughest assignment of my career. But I am still quite fit and I think I will make for a good talent-hunter too even as I continue to honour my commitment as a player to my employers.'' UNI GS SR CS KP2036