System needs to be cleaned up, assert ex-Olympians

India began their World Cup campaign on a positive note, outclassing Pakistan 4-1 but wore a sorry look against Australia and Spain, who thrashed them with identical 5-2 scoreline in their next two outings.

The defeats have virtually dashed India’s semifinal hopes and former Olympians are not even hopeful of a top-six finish.

Member of India’s 1975 World Cup winning side, Aslam Sher Khan feels the selection committee must shoulder the responsibility of the team’s shoddy performance in the last two encounters.

“If we have to revive Indian hockey. We have to set up an institution for the game as it was before. There is no set-up for hockey in the country and we hardly have any knowledge of where these players come from,” Aslam said.

Aslam’s views were backed by former team-mate of the 1975 triumphant side Ashok Kumar, who said the present defence of the national team was the weakest ever he has seen in the history of Indian hockey. “I have never seen such a weak Indian defence. It is sad to see our defenders leaving rival players free inside the circle,” said Ashok .

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