On the eve of the birthday of hockey wizard Dhyan Chand,his son Olympian Ashok Kumar is quite peeved with the hockey scenario in Uttar Pradesh the land of legendary hockey players like his father Dhyan Chand and KD Singh Babu. He said that UP had a tradition of producing good players for the country but now it was hard to locate UP players in the Indian team announced for the Asian Champions Trophy because of the lack of proper planning on the part of the UP Sports Directorate.
Talking to The Indian Express from Kolkata where a statue of Dhyan Chand will be unveiled on Monday,Kumar said, The Sports Directorate just lacks in the art of attracting young talent towards the sport. There is lack of planning and motivation. A child can easily be lured by a chocolate so why are the sports department officials not asking themselves as to what they are doing to promote hockey among young children. Attention at grassrootlevel is a must for hockey promotion.
UP has produced talented players like Dhyan Chand,Roop Singh,KD Singh Babu,Jaman Lal Sharma,M Shahid,Syed Ali,Sujeet Kumar and Tushar Khandekar but now it seems that the persons sitting in the sports directorate have strayed from their mission. When KD Singh Babu and Jaman Lal Sharma were at the helm of affairs in the Sports Directorate,they used to take personal interest in the promotion of the game. They also used to ensure that players were getting proper equipment on time and were being served a good diet in sports hostels.
Kumar alleged that now the sports officials were more interested in self promotion rather than game promotion.
Kumar said that his father should be awarded the Bharat Ratna. Dhyan Chandji won three Olympic golds (in 1928 Amsterdam,1932 Los Angeles and 1936 Berlin) for the country. Only recently,a newly-laid hockey pitch in London was named after him which shows that talent in the sport of hockey is still remembered worldwide. He made his presence felt in a big way in every match he played. It would be highly unfair if the Bharat Ratna is given to my late father and Sachin Tendulkar at the same time. You cannot compare Dhyan Chand with any other player. He exhibited his might in the game when there was no infrastructure. Can you compare Mahatma Gandhi with any other person?, Kumar contested.
A hat-trick of goals by Hemraj helped his team Chowk Stadium Trainees Red in defeating KD Singh Babu Stadium Trainees Blue by 3-0 in a league stage match of the district level under-14 boys hockey tournament being organised at Lucknow to mark the birth anniversary of hockey wizard Dhyan Chand which falls on August 29. The tournament is being played on a league-cum-knockout basis.