Hockey India …Posted: February 5, 2009
Recently, there is a tournament which is going on which is notable for its being ignored by the media in a big way. Of course, it has to be, given that India is touring Sri Lanka, but having said that, there were quite a few large things which happened.
The tournament i am writing about is the Punjab Gold Cup … being played at Chandigarh. This is a four-nation tournament … Hosts India, playing New Zealand (who are featuring in the tournament, courtesy some lunatics who attacked Mumbai on 26/11, and seem to be the minnows of the tournament), Holland (a formidable team, no matter which way you look at it), and Germany (world champions, olympics champions, champions trophy holders … the best team in the world today). Quite a mean achievement, isnt it? It is, especially when you read the scorelines.
India beat New Zealand 2-1, India drew with Holland 4-4, thanks to 3 goals in 5 minutes, and India stunned Germany 2-0. Which is wonderful, or at least, is a wonderful indicator of the way Indian hockey could take. Having said that, what i find even more interesting is the fact that which channel was showing these matches was one of the best kept secrets of Indian media. The other evening, i was looking forward to the India-Germany fixture, and i surfed all the channels, but couldnt find the channel which was telecasting this match. So, either no channel was showing this match, or whichever channel was showing this match, were very successful in keeping it a secret. Shhhhh … dont tell anyone we actually showed a hockey match.
Whats even more interesting? The fact that most news channels just have a 1 minute, blink-and-you-will-miss-it coverage of the matches. Whats still more interesting is that there is far more airtime being given to off-the-field goings-on, than to on-the-field hockey. Somehow, the media seems to be allergic to highlight the highs of Indian hockey, but there seems to be a lot of coverage, and opinions, about the off-the-field goings-on in Indian hockey. One would wish they would just do justice to the national sport.