Police says Department has ready for 65th All India Police Hockey Championship But……?
Jammu Tawi, December 7
Hosting a mega event of national repute, involving those Olympians, the Jammu and Kashmir Police seem ill prepared in view of poor quality infrastructure and lack of competitive side to take on the opponents.
With just two days left for the 65th All India Police Hockey Championship, the only turf of the state at the main venue of KK Hakhu Stadium is in bad shape. The aging 18 years old Astroturf has been damaged badly and has been temporarily stitched from as many as five points so as to make it playable.
Unfortunately, the hosts J&K Police were yet to finalise their 20-member contingent when a good number of eight participating teams have already reported to the organising committee at Jammu.
“How can one expect performance from a side which is yet to be named. Being hosts, J&K Police should have finalised the playing 18 well in advance. They should have been put them to test through prolonged coaching sessions so as to develop a better understanding among the boys,” a senior hockey coach of the state told SAN.
Since a good number of eight teams, including defending champion, ITBP, runners-up, Maharashtra Police and bronze medallist, CRPF, have already reported and other four, Indian Army, Madhya Pradesh Police, Orissa and Pudducherry were on the way, the turf was hardly available to the players to practice and acclimatise with the prevailing conditions.
In view of the badly damaged turf, those international players, representing Punjab Police and Haryana Police may find it difficult to play. While Arjuna Awardee Rajpal Singh and Olympian, Gurbaj Singh represent Punjab Police, another international, Sandeep Singh is part of the Haryana Police team. “The field is injury prone with damaged stitching and wide open turf from many points. The decaying goal posts are yet to be replaced and the loop holes in the fencing yet to be repaired. Moreover, most part of the turf is yet to be cleaned by the ground staff. The prevailing conditions are sure to earn a bad name for J&K in the hockey circles of the country,” expressing his concern said a veteran hockey player. In all, 26 teams from as many states and paramilitary forces as also Indian Army shall compete for top honours.
Important to mention here that last year in the 64th All India Police meet, J&K Police had qualified their group and lost in the quarterfinals stages of the competition.