The last time India won a hockey World Cup was way back in 1975. On Monday,in the presence of members of the victorious team,the International Hockey Federation (FIH) unveiled the 2010 World Cup trophy,hoping that hosting the event would help push India up the world order in the game it once dominated.
While announcing Hero Honda as the title sponsors of the event,FIH president Leandro Negre made all the right statements,professing satisfaction about the preparations. Malaysia is no longer a back-up venue. It was only a Plan B which we have to have for every event, he said,putting to rest all doubts on Delhi hosting the World Cup. The only other time India hosted the World Cup was in 1982 in Mumbai.
Security is an important issue anywhere and we will be monitoring the situation but we have no major concerns. Everything is going on fine, he said,when asked about security concerns. The World Cup is the most important event in the game of hockey and For global development (of hockey),it is important that India should come up and play to its potential, he said.
But not everything was in place. While invoking the history of Indian hockey,a short clip on Indias 1975 final against Pakistan was played. But the men instrumental for that win Aslam Sher Khan and Ashok Kumar were missing. We sent them invites, said Hockey India secretary Aslam Khan.
IOA chairman Suresh Kalmadi said hosting the World Cup and the Commonwealth Games would help Indian hockey. He could not say how the teams standards and rankings would be helped by hosting the events. And on the proposed elections to Hockey India,Kalmadi admitted there were difficulties. We have a difficult task to merge men and womens hockey at the state level. It is not possible to do it in a hurry but it is a challenge, he said,without explaining how they were going about the task.
Self-belief most important
Meanwhile,the 75 World Cup winners were unanimous when asked for one tip to the present team: Self belief and killer instinct. Everyone has skills and speed. Anyone playing at the top level is among the best. But the most important thing is killer instinct,the desire to win, said Harbinder Singh. Self belief is essential to win,said Brig. HJS Chimni.