Fir dil do hockey ko. . .

IPL 3 began on 12th march and the Hockey world cup ended on 13th. I know most of you know about it. Not because hockey is the national game [yes it is; a little piece of information for all those who think cricket is] but because Sehwag told us.

We all remember Sehwag saying, ‘Main is baar nahi kheloonga. Stadium mein baith kar match dekhoonga. Jhanda bhi lehrayoonga, aur India India chilayoonga. Match ki tension mein nakhun chabayoonga. Face par tiranga bhi banayoonga. . . . . . . fir dil do hockey ko’ in the Hero Honda campaign. With Sehwag, Priyanka Chopra, Rajvendra Singh Rathore also made such plans, plans which never materialized. Except for one courtesy visit by Priyanka Chopra none turned up.

It was a nice initiative by Hero Honda to popularize our national sport once again. But as fate would have it, nothing much happened in the end. I feel if Hero Honda started the campaign then they should have taken the pains to see it through till end. Or all those who shouted on national televisions ‘Fir dil do Hockey ko’ should have attended few matches, if nothing else then on morale grounds of keeping their word. But Sehwag was too busy practicing for IPL, and God knows what Rathore was occupied with.

Am no big hockey fan [but then am no big fan of cricket or football either. I don’t like tennis, baseball, basket ball or any other sport you may think of. Except F-1, that too as long as Schumacher is driving, I don’t like watching sports on TV] but I actually felt, first strange and then good when I heard about Hockey world cup being held in India. Strange, because do we actually have the infrastructure to do something like this? And happy for pulling it of in India (Delhi) [where most outsiders are not happy playing anything] without any mishap. But then this year IPL is back and there is Commonwealth Games [I wonder how they plan to host them! But that next time] scheduled later this year to weaken this spirit as well.

I don’t think anything in India has seen such a huge fall from glory as hockey did. After winning 8 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze medal in Olympics and being the unbeaten reigning champions from 1928 to 1956, men’s Indian hockey team failed to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympics; so much for a span of 8 decades.

Am no expert to comment on why this happened, but I don’t understand why so much hype is there around cricket, a sport which hardly 12 nations play. A sport whose latest version [twenty-twenty] is a plain lift up from hockey and football. How does it matter [in cricket] if the players sit in dressing room or out on ground? But they sit out on ground in hockey and football, where they keep on rotating, so should be in cricket. The concept of ‘bowl out’ is simply an impression of penalty shootouts to decide a tied match and not to mention the cheer leaders. All in all, the whole shorter concept is for taking it nearer to football and hockey. Am sure most of you won’t agree with me, not because am not making much sense, but because it is cricket I am talking about here.  

Anyways, all I am saying hockey deserve better than what it get. Not because hockey is our national sport, but because except cricket it is one sport at which we don’t suck, and just because of our lack of interest and support it is dieing. Fir dil do hockey ko.

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