Now Aslam Sher Khan to "Chak De" hockey

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Jalandhar, May 18 (UNI) In a ''Chak De'' mood, former minister and Olympian Aslam Sher Khan, who was recently appointed ad hoc chairman of the Indian Hockey Selection Committee, today vowed to take hockey to its previous glory with the help of fellow players.

Speaking to mediapersons here this evening, Mr Khan said for the revival of the hockey, his team and fellow players would leave no stone unturned.

Expressing gratitude towards the Union Government and Indian Olympic Association for handing over the reins of hockey to its players for the first time after Independence, after disolving the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF), he said,''Now the dark clouds for hockey are over.'' Without mincing any words against former IHF president KPS Gill, he said, ''Let us bury the past as now we are looking forward to take forward the game.'' Expressing satisfaction over the performance of the team in the ongoing Azlan Shah Hockey Tournmant, he said half of the problem of the team was over just after scrapping of the IHF, while the remaining hurdles would be removed soon.

The main challenge before the committee was to prepare the team for the coming Commonwealth Games and World Cup, if held in India, he said.

Calling upon the players from Punjab to take the lead in revival of the game, he said,''Discrimination in selection of the players is now a thing of the past and in future all selection would be done purily on the basis of merit.'' Appreciating the efforts of the Federation of International Hockey (FIH) for improving the game in India, he said that FIH had sent two top players of the world--Rig Charlesworth and Bob Davidson to provide technical help to Indian players.

To keep the players engaged, his priority was to revive the top domestic tournament of the country, which were discontinued by the previous regime,he said.

Women hockey too would be uplifted and would be given the same status as men's hockey, he said adding that they were looking forward to review the Premier Hockey League (PHL) and to give it a national look.

Another important factor needed for revival of the game was money, he said adding that they were looking for sponsors on the pattern of Indian Professional League (IPL).

On the ocassion, Mr Khan also announced lifting the life ban imposed on three PHL players, forward Tejbir Singh and goalkeepers Kanwaldeep Singh and Maninder Singh.


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