9th March, 2008 will not be forgotten ever. It was the worst Sunday for Indian Hockey and its aficionados have ever lived through. In fact , the most frightening 24 hours probably in our lives. Tears rolled down when the hooter went off as our team lost the match against Great Britain in the play offs failing to make it to the Olympics for the first time in its glorious history sending a hockey historic nation into unexpected mourning.
Mauled by many, scorned by the federation, paltry is what the reality of a game that once conquered the world was witnessed on the dawn after Indian Hockey’s worst day. As the players returned to their homes, we felt humiliated to the core for not winning an Olympic medal, but for failing in making it to the games. Things were even worse with a cricket biased rising sporting culture back home. As we recollected the glorious beauty our National Game has witnessed, and tried to decipher what’s gone pathetic, it was something even the greatest detective could not have decoded by then.
What all we could then was to wait for the dawn of 16th February, 2012. But, by then, the worst has happened. With a governing body that can neither applaud the efforts of its players’ success nor value it, we badly needed to form of a National Joint body for the welfare of the players. As fate would have had it, that formation of a National joint body did not happen.
Amidst of all these and many more, it was on the evening of 25th February, 2012, that the National team made it to the Olympics after a staggering 8 years, exorcising the ghost of Chile. Oh boy, at last, a huge sigh of relief.
We might not have those gifted men like Dhyan Chand, and Leslie Claudius, but we do possess enough talent in every corner of the nation. Whatsoever may be, I’ve that faith some where in the corner of my heart that I will see my National team culminating the Olympics with a Gold Medal and that we will regain the lost supremacy. If not….
Hockey will continue to go down the drain and a day will come when nobody picks up that stick again. Hopefully, at least then, we will give our national game a decent burial….
A Hockey fan in anguish