L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Resentment among hockey lovers over Rajinder’s sack
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, July 20
There is widespread resentment and disappointment among hockey lovers here over the ‘unceremonious’ exit of national hockey coach, Rajinder Singh. The sports fraternity feels that with just one month to go for the Athens Olympics, Rajinder Singh who, during his two-year stint as national coach, guided the team to victories in a number of tournaments, has been axed at a wrong time.

The hockey players, sports promoters and organisers term Rajinder Singh’s sack as unfortunate and humiliating. They are of the opinion, if the Indian Hockey Federation had decided to replace the national coach, he should have been removed much earlier, not near the mega event like the Olympics.

Mr Teja Singh Dhaliwal, honorary general secretary, Punjab Basketball Association and Mr Apinder Singh Grewal, former national hockey player and a swimmer, expressed anguish over Rajinder Singh’s removal as the national coach. They said it was the same Rajinder Singh, who during last year enabled the team to win seven out of 10 tournaments.

They said last year, India won the Double Leg Hockey Tournament in Sydney and then went on to grab the title in the Panasonic Hockey Cup in Germany. The Indian team’s march did not stop here as they clinched Asia Cup in Kuala Lumpur and in the month of October, the team made the country proud by winning top honours in the Afro-Asian Games held in Hyderabad. The team also bagged the trophy in the hockey meet at Hobart, Australia.

Prior to this, Rajinder Singh coached the Indian junior boys team to win the World Cup and for this achievement, he was given the reins of the senior team, Dhaliwal and Grewal added. It seemed that the IHF had taken into consideration the team’s performance during the just concluded four-nation tournament.

Mr Daljeet Singh, president, Mata Sahib Kaur Gold Cup Hockey Tournament Committee, Dr Kulwant Singh, an avid hockey lover criticised IHF’s decision to replace Rajinder Singh at this moment. “This move would serve no purpose, rather prove counter-productive,” they rued.

The new coach, Gerhard Rach of Germany cannot perform wonders in such short span before the Olympics. Rajinder Singh had better understanding with the players and could have produced better results, they opined.



Sukhbir Dhillon to lead India
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, July 20
Sukhbir Singh Dhillon of Punjab has been selected to lead the Indian basketball team in the Children Games of Asia-2004 to be held at Yakutsk, Russia, from July 23 to 30, according to Mr Teja Singh Dhaliwal, secretary, Punjab Basketball Association.

Two other lads from Punjab, namely Yadwinder Singh and Gurpreet Singh, figure in the Indian squad which left for Russia on Monday night. The cagers attended the coaching camp in preparation for the forthcoming tour here at Ludhiana from June 28 to July 30. Mr Teja Singh Dhaliwal, honorary secretary, Punjab Basketball Association along with Dr S Subramanian, former Director, NIS, Patiala and office-bearers of the Ludhiana Basketball Association were present at Guru Nanak Stadium to wish the lads good luck for the forthcoming tournament.

The names of players are: Sukhbir Singh Dhillon (capt), Yadwiner Singh, Gurpreet Singh, Pratham Singh, Rajnish Singh, Sharvan Kumar, Hamayu Khan, Santosh Kumar, Rajinder Singh, Parveen, Hlaldindanga and R S Pavimammai. Mr J N Nehra will accompany the team as coach.



Anil Singla, Pappu Thaman star in MC XI win
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, July 20
Anil Singla (93) and Pappu Thaman (5 for 19) gave good account of themselves as MC XI recorded 41-run victory over Green Cricket Club in the ongoing cricket tournament being held here at the Satish Chander Dhawan Government College for Boys ground.

MC XI, batting first made 200 runs for the loss of 8 wickets in the stipulated 25 overs. Anil Singla hammered 93 runs including 12 hits to the fence.

Mandeep and Amit contributed 28 and 21 runs respectively while Yogi scored 16.

For Green Cricket Club, the most successful bowler was Nitin who took three wickets for 36 runs.

In reply, Green Cricket Club were all out for 159 runs after 22.4 overs.

The main scorers were Sunny, Nitin and Ravinder who contributed 38, 33 and 26 runs respectively.

MC XI’s Pappu Thaman captured five wickets conceding 19 runs and Yogi scalped three victims for 24 runs.



Ludhiana cricket probables
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, July 20
More than 60 players attended the trials conducted by the Ludhiana District Cricket Association (LDCA) here at the Arya College for Boys ground to select the probables (u-22 years) for the coaching-cum-training camp to be organised by the association in preparation for the forthcoming Punjab Inter-District Cricket Tournament being organised under the age is of the Punjab Cricket Association.

According to Mr Vinod Chitkara, general secretary, LDCA, the panel of selectors comprising Mr Chaman Lal Malhotra, Mr Lokesh Khanna, Mr Pawan Pandey and Mr Naresh Marwaha shortlisted 23 probables for the camp slated to start from July 22 at the Arya College ground. These probables have been asked to report to Mr Manmohan Bedi, NIS coach at the venue on Thursday at 3.30 pm.

The names of the probables are: Gaurav Marwaha, Tarun Kanish, Gurpreet Khaira, Ashish Vinayak, Deepak Kapoor, Deepak Gatta, Gaurav Kumar, Prabhjot Singh Khatra, Pankaj Kumar, Rattan Bricher, Ashish Sehgal, Dushyant Kohli, Salil Kaushal, Amrit Pal Singh, Sibby, Satwant Singh, Amardeep Rana, Nishant, Dheeraj kumar, Harjit Singh Panesar, Karan Puri, Avinash Khajuria and Aditya Aggawal.


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