CM – Baskaran: We suffered a lot at the Commonwealth Games

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Former ice hockey captain Baskaran believes there was little point in sending a young team to the Commonwealth Games. – The Hindu

The real reasons for Hockey India’s decision to withdraw the Indian men’s and women’s hockey teams from the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham next year may be obscure. Former Olympic gold medalist V. Baskaran believes, however, that Graham Reid, the head coach of the Indian men’s team, had a big say.

« If you look at it, Reid is now setting the tone because he delivered bronze in the Olympics I think Hockey India decided to go with him, « said Baskaran, the captain of the triumphant Indian hockey team at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, in an interview with sports star.

The hockey champion of the Asian Games Hangzhou (China, September 10-25) will directly qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris and the problem is that the Commonwealth Games (July 28th to August 8th) are just a month earlier in Birmingham, England.

« I also think we have to focus on the Asiadas, it’s an Olympic qualifying event. We lost in the last Asian Games (India won bronze, 2018, Jakarta) and we fought a year and a half la ng to qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. We had to travel a lot and do a lot of things. ”

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“We can win it this time because Pakistan is not good, Korea is not a lot. If we win the Asian Games, we will have the same core group and can do the guys better for the 2023 World Cup in India. I think Reid is focused on filling the vacuum that players like Rupinder Pal Singh, V.S. Sunil and Birendra Lakra, who recently retired and qualified for Paris. « 

But the Commonwealth Games, in which the top 10 teams in the world like Australia, England, New Zealand and Canada take part, offer not a wonderful preparation for the World Cup in Bhubaneswar in early 2023? Can’t we at least send a second string for the Commonwealth Games?

“We suffered a lot at the Commonwealth Games. Because there they will give us four games in a row and the competition will be very high. If the development team works too, it won’t learn much, « explained Baskaran.

 » The problem of not having a development team now is due to COVID. There may be players, but how are you going to prepare them? In 2016 our Junior World Cup team was doing well (India won the title) but the COVID pandemic has taken its toll. In the last two years there has been no talent identification, no Khelo India, no junior nationals, no nationals. « 

 » And the problem is who is sent as a goalkeeper. Sreejesh and Krishan Pathak are seniors (and with the Asian chances). « 

 » So I agree 80 percent of the decision not to send a team to the Commonwealth Games. « 

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