HI calls meeting of selectors, coaches to sort out players’ issue

August 24th, 2011 - 9:18 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 24 (IANS) Hockey India (HI) has called a meeting of the selectors and the coaches to discuss the issue of Sandeep Singh and Sardara Singh leaving the ongoing national camp in Bangalore for the Asian Champions Trophy, reportedly because of a rift within the team management.

HI secretary general Narinder Batra said Wednesday the two players have given their reasons of leaving the camp in an e-mail.

“They have sent a mail explaining the reasons. I cannot reveal the contents at this moment. The disciplinary committee headed by Pargat Singh is looking into the matter and we have called a meeting on Aug 27 where the selectors and coaches will be present to discuss the issue,” Batra told IANS.

The two players cited personal reasons while leaving the camp Tuesday, but there is more to it than meets the eye.

This is not the first time that Sandeep and Sardara have had disciplinary issues.

They were dropped from the Azlan Shah squad this year because they were playing in the Belgian league without getting the necessary clearances from HI.

The two, along with Prabhjot Singh, Adrian D’Souza and Arjun Halappa, had left the camp for a day last month to appear in a promotional event of the World Series Hockey organised by the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF).

The five players were warned by HI and were not allowed to train for some days before being taken back in the camp.

The latest development has raised fears that all is not well in the team.

Reports said that Sandeep was unhappy with the treatment meted out to him.

According to camp co-ordinator and assistant coach S.S.Grewal, defender Sardara had expressed displeasure about playing under Rajpal Singh, who is back as captain of the side for the Asian Champions Trophy in China from Sep 3 after Halappa was injured.

“Sardara and Rajpal have not been in talking terms for a year now,” Grewal had told reporters in Bangalore Tuesday. “Ever since Rajpal was made captain, Sardara has not been playing to his best. The divide between the two is obvious.”

It will be a good opportunity for drag flicker V.R. Raghunath, who was the top scorer in national championship, to fill Sandeep’s slot.

Sardara’s place could be taken by either Vikas Sharma or Sarvanjit Singh.

New coach Michael Nobbs said that it will be a chance for youngsters to grab the opportunity.

“Sardara is a class player, but when you give younger players a chance they often take it,” he said.

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