Hockey crisis over, team resumes training

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Pune, Jan 14 (ANI): After solving their pay dispute with the national hockey federation, the players of the Indian hockey team resumed their training on Thursday for the Hockey World Cup to be played next month.

The national hockey team had been up in arms with the federation over the non-payment of their match fees, and had boycotted the national training camp set up in Pune for the last few days.

The impasse was broken on Wednesday, after former hockey captain Dhanraj Pillay and Suresh Kalmadi, President of Olympic Association, intervened.

Later on Wednesday, team sponsor Sahara India announced an immediate payment of 10 million rupees for distribution to players, so that they can peacefully and happily practice and play for the country.

Kalmadi also supported the proposal of creating a Players Welfare Development Fund with former Indian captain Dhanraj Pillay in charge of it.

Kalmadi said that plans were afoot to rope in Bollywood stars to hold shows all over the country to raise money for the sport.

Sports Minister Manohar Singh Gill urged the players make up for the lost time and get into the training mode to face archrivals Pakistan in the opening match of the World Cup on February 28.

Gill said he hoped that such situations would not come up in future, as the committee that will be set up after fresh elections to constitute a national governing body would look into the grievances of the players.

The persisting crisis in Indian hockey worsened on Tuesday (January 12) as striking players walked out of an inconclusive meeting with Hockey India officials.

The adamant attitude of hockey players prompted the establishment to serve a fresh 48-hour ultimatum to all the striking players to resume training or get axed from the World Cup squad. (ANI)

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