Two months after being dropped from the Indian hockey camp on medical grounds,former Indian hockey goal-keeper Baljeet Singh Dhadwal has once again proved his critics wrong with a stellar performance in the Beighton Cup held at Kolkata early this week. The Chandigarh-based player,who has represented the city in various tournaments,suffered a career threatening injury in his right eye during a hockey camp in Pune two years ago,and had been sidelined for more than one year due to the surgery.
The 29-year-old player was recalled by the Indian team management in July earlier this year before being dropped by Australian coach Michael Nobbs.
I was disappointed after being dropped by the Indian team management from the hockey camp. I had suffered the injury two years ago but I did not lose heart. I was also adjudged the best goal-keeper in this year nationals also and I am eager for comeback. They cannot rule me just because I have less vision in one of my eyes. My performance in the Beighton Cup,where I saved four penalty corners in the final against ONGC,has boosted my confidence. If Tiger Pataudi can play for India having vision in one eye,why cannot I play,says Baljeet,who along with Rajpal Singh,Rupinder Pal Singh and Dharamveer Singh has played for Chandigarh during the last one decade.
The Indian Oil Corporation player,who currently resides at Kaimbwala,Chandigarh,is also aiming for a comeback through World Series Hockey,a professional league which will see eight city-based teams including Chandigarh,battling it out in a league stage.
The venues for the World Series of Hockey have been decided today and we are eager to play in the tournament. The teams have been finalised and I have signed the contract. It will be a huge boost for us as we will get a chance to play with international players too. Chandigarh will also be hosting matches and it will be great to play in front of our home crowd. I only wish that Chandigarh Administration should do something for its players. There is no sports policy and players are forced to play for other states, shared Dhadwal.
Renowned city-based hockey coach N S Sodhi,who has coached the likes of Dadhwal,Rajpal Singh,Inderjit Chadha,and many other international players,believes that the Indian management should consider Dhadhwal for at least one chance and the player can perform better than his counterparts.
It is very courageous for him to make a comeback after such an injury and it is a shame on the part of the Indian team management that they are ignoring him just on the basis of the medial grounds. His performance speaks of his confidence and I hope he gets at least a chance to represent India once again he has , shared Sodhi,who is an officer with State Bank of India (SBI). Baljeet was adjudged the best goal-keeper of the Beighton Cup and was also awarded a cash prize of Rs 25,000 by the sports minister.