Hockey India decides to shift camp to New Delhi

Slippery pitch at SAI Bangalore forces authorities to act swiftly

The National senior hockey probables’ camp will be shifted to New Delhi very soon after many players expressed their displeasure over the poor state of the pitch here at the Sports Authority of India campus.

Following a spate of minor injuries to key players owing to the slippery nature of the surface, Hockey India think tank decided to shift the camp at the earliest, vowing not to return to Bangalore until the turf is replaced.

“Yes, the camp will be shifted to New Delhi,” confirmed HI secretary-general Narinder Batra. “It’s been raining heavily in New Delhi and we need a few days to get the pitch ready. Once that is done, the camp will be moved. Until then, the boys will continue to train in Bangalore.”

Meanwhile, sources revealed that injuries sustained by Gurnail Singh, Harbir Singh and Rupinder Pal Singh prompted the coaches to make the sudden shift.

“We have already lost key players Akashdeep (Singh) and (Gurwinder Singh) Chandi to injuries for the Asia Cup,” said an HI source on condition of anonymity. “Gurmail, Harbir and Rupinder slipped badly and sustained minor injuries. Asia Cup is a very important tournament for us and we can’t afford any more injuries. We won’t be having the camp in Bangalore until a new turf is laid.”

The source also said that apart from the turf, the players found the weather in Bangalore to be ‘cold’. “Some of the boys felt the weather to be cold as well. With the Asia Cup being held in Ipoh, Malaysia, where it is going to be hot and humid, we thought it’s better we train elsewhere.”

Sources revealed that HI High Performance Director and camp in-charge Roelant Oltmans and coach MK Kaushik met SAI, South Centre, Regional Director SS Roy where they apprised him about the pitch.

Former coach Michael Nobbs too had expressed his displeasure over the state of the turf in Bangalore, shifting the camp twice to Pune and Patiala respectively. The camp returned to Bangalore this summer despite the authorities being aware of the nature of the turf, choosing the city because of its ‘pleasant’ weather.

Meanwhile, HI selection committee pruned the list of probables for the Asia Cup to 33.
DH News Service

List of probables: 
Goalkeepers: Nanak Singh, PR Sreejesh, PT Rao, Sreenivasa Rao. Defenders: Amit Rohidas, Harbir Singh Sandhu, Rupinder Pal Singh, VR Raghunath, Gurmail Singh, Kothajit Singh, Birendra Lakra.
Midfielders: Sardar Singh, Manpreet Singh, MB Aiyappa, Vikas Pillay, Prabhdeep Singh, Dharamvir Singh, Chinglensana Singh, SK Uthappa.
Forwards: Danish Mujtaba, Akashdeep Singh, Nithin Thimmaiah, Pradhan Somanna, SV Sunil, Gurvinder Singh Chandi, Talwinder Singh, Mandeep Singh, Ramandeep Singh, Malak Singh, Jasjeet Singh, Nikkin Thimmaiah, Harmanpreet Singh, MK Muddappa.

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