Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Sehwag says, go for the hockey! (So do I)

Right. I know this is a cricket blog. But today, I'm going to hijack this space and talk about that other Indian sport. You know, the one in which we've won tons of Olympic gold medals: hockey?

I've never talked about hockey on this blog because, well, like I said, it's a cricket blog. But I love hockey. I've only played for one school team in my life and that was hockey in my 12th year. I played all the positions on the right flank: full-back, half, forward. I used a Karachi Blues stick, a loan for the season from my coach. It was a heavy monster but it helped getting those speedy passes up or across the line. I never quite mastered extensive dribbling, but I ran pretty quickly and moved the ball reasonably well. All in all, playing hockey was a true passion that last school year and had it not been for an idiotic coach, I would have enjoyed it even more.

Before coming to the US, it was no exaggeration to say that I was a devoted hockey fan, with fairly nerdy take on the game. I followed the Indian team's fortunes with a great deal of interest and went through all the roller-coaster emotions that Indian hockey fans had to deal with in the 1980s, in tournaments like the Champions Trophy and the Olympics (it hasn't really changed in recent years). And yes, I do remember that Pargat Singh goal against Germany. (I even had a domestic favorite: Indian Airlines, which at one time, featured the entire Indian forward line!).

Sadly, I've hardly been able to get any coverage of the game since moving here. I've only caught up with hockey news belatedly and have not managed to watch a single game live. But, while living in Sydney, I did go to see one game at the Olympics: India's disastrous game against Poland, a late equalizer in which knocked India out of the semis. It rained hard that night; I was soaked, and my misery was complete.

Well, the World Cup is on now. And India beat Pakistan 4-1 in the opening game (yup, the rivalry is as intense as the cricketing one, so the score is a big deal; indeed, the television ratings for this game kicked some ODIs' arses). As you can see,

Sehwag thinks we should all go for the games and cheer on the lads. I wish I could. It's in my old home-town, at a stadium I know well. So, let me know if you know how I could watch the game on the net, and if you're in Delhi, go cheer on the boys. India play Australia today.

Update: India lost 2-5.

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Blogger Mahek said...


Hope it works for you, it's working on my computer.

7:35 AM  
Blogger Samir Chopra said...


Thanks for the link - I found another one from there, which is working. Unfortunately, India are three goals down! JEEZ!

10:37 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Sad loss for India today! But our team needed a bit of grounding after the high - flying win over Pakistan.

Hope the boys recover well for the rest of the matches.

12:03 PM  
Blogger Samir Chopra said...

Shridhar: Indeed. Lets hope the boys can recover. The Aussies looked like the Aussies of old: fast, aggressive, opportunistic.

1:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

India is lucky to playing in the world cup (only because they are the hosts) and they have caught the same old disease of holding the ball rather than passing (which they surprised all in the match vs Pak)... I hope we don't repeat our past performances (9th in the 9th WC, 10th in the 10 WC and 11th in the 11th WC) and wish somethings change for the good with Indian hockey.

3:23 AM  
Blogger Samir Chopra said...

Anon: I didn't see that much of the game so I'll take your word for it. But yes, it's an old problem, and is made worse by modern playing conditions. Fingers crossed for the rest of the games.

9:38 AM  
Blogger Ashtung said...

Like you, I too was a hockey devote through school and college... Had to give up thanks to a spat of injuries...

Do remember that heart-breaking leveller by the polish... Reverse-flick and all that jazz...

Thanks for reminding me of the sad moment (no sarcasm)

6:13 AM  

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