Players divided over new goal rule

Players divided over new goal rule

Pak players shouldn't be included without apology: Sardar

Players divided over new goal rule

The new rule of making a field goal equivalent to two goals in the fourth edition of Hockey India League has already divided opinions among the players.

While defending champions Ranchi Rays’ captain and dragflicker Ashley Jackson disapproved the rule, Delhi Waveriders’ captain and forward Simon Child welcomed it during the trophy unveiling ceremony on Thursday.

The new edition of the league has witnessed significant overhauling, including a new title sponsor in Coal India and doubling the amount of cash rewards for individual performances.

The rule, aimed at making matches more competitive, would be implemented during the January 18-February 21 league and closely monitored by the international body, FIH.

“I don’t like it. We will see how it is going to come off when the league begins. For example there is a team which is trailing 0-1, now a field goal at the last moments may give the game an exciting finish but the team which was losing ends up winning! Is that fair? Who knows,” Jackson shrugged.

“What bothers me is that FIH is changing rules in every tournament, we honestly don’t know what rules are there for this tournament. I am all for change but FIH does not need to do it every week.”

Uttar Pradesh Wizards captain VR Raghunath, also a dragflicker, brushed off the notion that the new rule undermines the importance of a penalty corner expert. He instead felt it was only fair that forwards were finally going to have some advantage.

“I don’t think the new rule would make our job any easier. We still have to create chances and score. In all these years we dragflickers have been getting all the advantage. Whether it is me or Sandeep Singh or Ashley Jackson, we have been getting 10-12 goals every season. So let forwards also have some advantage. Let them also take the pressure!,” Raghunath laughed.

He, however, felt the rule should be restricted to HIL only.” It would be a little harsh to implement it on international circuit. But in HIL it could generate a lot of excitement,” he said.

Child  felt the rule would add value on quality of shots. “It is a good rule for the forwards. It would add value on quality of shots, I am happy about it. It may result in teams being more focussed on the defence. It will make the matches more close. In fact, the matches may be decided by a dragflick at the end of the game,” he said.

Meanwhile, Jackson and Kalinga Lancers captain Moritz Fuerste felt Pakistan players should be allowed to play in the HIL. However, India and Jaypee Punjab Warriors captain Sardar Singh pointed out that Pakistani players haven’t apologised for their unruly behaviour during the 2014 Champions Trophy and thus shouldn't be allowed to participate.   

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