When Baljit Singh Dadhwal played his first domestic hockey game after a career-threatening injury,the 26-year-old goalkeeper had said he is keen to represent India in this year’s Commonwealth Games in Delhi. Although he is recuperating and maybe fit enough for the Games,the fact that the Chandigarh Administration has not invited international players like him to participate in the Commonwealth Relay to be held on July 3 has meant that many international players would miss the event.
The Chandigarh Administration has not sent invitations to players like Indian hockey captain Rajpal Singh,Olympian Sukhbir Singh Gill,2000 Junior World Cup team members Inderjeet Chadha and Deepak Thakur,and even India’s most successful Olympian with three gold medals,Balbir Singh Senior.
We have represented India in many international-level tournaments and even won championships. But what hurts us is the presence of players,who have performed only at the national level,in the list of players who will take part in the relay. We are not against that,but when we perform well at the international level,we are always proud of the fact that we are from Chandigarh. The officials should take care of this. We will take up the issue with UT Administrator Shivraj Patil, said Dadhwal,who was instrumental in India’s 2007 Asia Cup victory.
Rajpal was in Chandigarh last week and the UT officials did not even think of sending him an invitation. They have played in the Olympics,and it is disheartening that they will miss the event in their home town, said Gurinder Singh,brother of Rajpal Singh.
Those present during the Chandigarh Administration’s press conference said the name of Kapil Dev was also included at the last moment. My father called me up from Canada,and when I told him that we have not received any invitation,he was sad. He has plans to come to India to see the Commonwealth Games. But even if officials ignore us,we will go to watch the CWG. Last month,Canadian officials invited him for a discussion with Canadian Olympic athletes and he was very happy, said Sushbir Bhomia,daughter of Balbir Singh Senior.
Meanwhile,Chandigarh Administration officials said they have sent invitations to most players.
We have sent invitations to most players,and if they confirm their participation,we will adjust them accordingly. We are eager to include as many local players as we can, said Sanjay Kumar,Sports and Finance Secretary,Chandigarh Administration.