Fearing as much as 50 % discount within the variety of gamers from town within the National Championships, hockey stalwarts have urged sports activities minister Kiren Rijiju to intervene and ‘save Mumbai hockey’ by reversing the ‘one state, one association’ coverage enforced by Hockey India.
The rule, which got here into drive on July 1, means Mumbai won’t be able to subject a separate staff within the National Championships. Instead, they should merge with the Pune-based Hockey Maharashtra, which the gamers worry will result in fewer alternatives for gamers from Mumbai.
“In the present situation wherein only one team will be permitted from the state, there will be a substantial reduction in the number of players from Mumbai who will play under the Hockey Maharashtra banner,” a letter written to Rijiju, and marked to Hockey India president Mushtaque Ahmad in addition to Indian Olympic Association President Narinder Batra, acknowledged. “This would happen since players from other districts would also need to be accommodated. A rough estimate is that the reduction of Mumbai players in the National Championship would be between 30-50 per cent.”
Twelve gamers, together with Dhanraj Pillay and MM Somaya, have raised the problem with the sports activities minister. Others embody Joaquim Carvalho, Olympic gold medallist Mervyn Fernandes, Marcellus Gomes, Balbir Singh Grewal, Gurbax Singh Grewal, Viren Rasquinha, Iqbaljit Singh, 1982 Asian Games gold medallists Eliza Nelson and Selma D’Silva, and Margaret Toscano.
Until now, there have been three recognised hockey models within the state: Mumbai Hockey Association, Hockey Maharashtra and Vidarbha Hockey Association. However, Hockey India made Hockey Maharashtra the state’s sole consultant after it applied the one-state-one-unit coverage, which got here into impact on Wednesday.
While Vidarbha has challenged the transfer within the High Court, the Mumbai Hockey Association determined in opposition to legally contesting Hockey India’s determination to withdraw its membership. The transfer, former gamers imagine, may have extreme penalties on town that has had a wealthy hockey tradition.
“Mumbai has been a nerve centre for hockey over many years. Along with Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, Mumbai has been providing the maximum number of players to the Indian teams. This is due to a strong ecosystem for hockey that has been built over many decades,” the letter acknowledged. “Being selected to represent Mumbai in the National Championship is a key factor for availing employment in organisations under the sports quota. Playing for Mumbai also means vying for a place in the Indian team.”
The transfer may even have a bearing on sports activities quota jobs, and have a extreme bearing on their participation in sub-junior, junior and senior tournaments, the gamers added.
Rasquinha stated the choice, if not reversed, would be the remaining nail within the coffin for Mumbai hockey. “The city has a great hockey culture. There is gully hockey, school hockey, club hockey… and Mumbai players have gone on to represent India at the Olympics,” he stated. “Indian hockey will lose out on one of its most important nurseries and feeder systems.”
In their letter, the gamers have stated the Lodha Committee’s suggestions shouldn’t be utilized as a ‘thumb rule for all federations.’ Instead, they’ve cited the instance of the ‘BCCI’s even handed implementation.’
“A Supreme Court judgement dated 9th August 2018 has empowered them (BCCI) to provide Full Membership status to associations like Mumbai and Vidarbha in Maharashtra… Saurashtra and Baroda in Gujarat. As a result of this, states like Maharashtra and Gujarat have been allowed to field more than one team in the Ranji Trophy,” the letter stated.
“Since the rationale is the same, the Supreme Court judgement delivered for cricket could be made applicable for hockey as well. If accorded Full Membership, established hockey centres like Mumbai would then be able to continue participating in the National Championship and contributing to the growth of hockey at the national level.”