Bengaluru, Nov 18: He could not participate in the Hockey India League (HIL) this season even after his suspension was lifted. And returning to the HIL in the next year as the highest paid player (bought by Ranchi Rays for $99,000) in the franchise league might be the perfect reply for Gurbaj Singh.
Still the 28-year-old did not sound very ecstatic when contacted over phone on Thursday (November 17). Rather one of Indian hockey's gifted midfielders quietly said, "Yes, I am very happy with the news that I have been the highest paid player in the auction for the next year’s HIL. But my actual dream is to return to Indian squad and HIL is going to be my ladder."
Gurbaj was a regular member of the senior Indian squad in 2012 London Olympics. But he faced allegations of indiscipline and damaging spirit of the team. So he had to face suspension.
He again came back but last year the selectors again submitted reports to Hockey India (HI) against his rough behaviour and indiscipline and Gurbaj was banned for 9 months.
The midfielder when asked about the issue, replied, "I have left that disastrous period and come forward. I do not want to speak much about my suspension. Rather I will only say, please ask the senior players who are currently in the Indian squad that as a human being how I am. If anybody says Gurbaj is rough, damaging personality then I will quit hockey."
The midfielder of whom India’s junior coach Harendra Singh says, "He is simply superb on the field. And regarding his temperament I can only say that he is very emotional and passionate about the game."
Gurbaj had finally appealed to Hockey India and his ban was lifted. Still he was not allowed to take part in the PHL this year. He said, "I played in Malaysian club league. And along with playing there I made another habit of watching world's best hockey matches to upgrade myself."
The midfielder added, "I want to deliver my best in HIL so that selectors get compelled to call me back in the senior national team."