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Dhanraj Pillay visits Jamshedpur, says Hockey League must be conducted on IPL format

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Thrilled with facilities at NTHA, says hockey legend 

Mail News Service

Jamshedpur, May 2: Former India skipper and hockey wizard, Dhanraj Pillay advocated that India should conduct hockey leagues on IPL format in order to take the sport to greater heights and enhance the financial condition of its players.

“My request to Hockey India is to start hockey league which would be a boon to the players who take up the sport as a career. Any player who wants to achieve success in the game will have to be totally focused. Hockey players also need financial security as most talents of the game emerge from economically hit families,” observed legendary hockey player Dhanraj Pillay during his visit to the city as chief guest for the conclusion of Second Men’s Premier Hockey Academy Nationals by Hockey India and hosted by Naval Tata Hockey Academy at Telco. Interacting with the media on the sidelines of the Second Hockey India Junior Men’s Academy National Championship final, four times Olympian noted that kids coming from middle class families needed money to survive and keep their parents and family secure and if Hockey India started the league it will do a world of good for the players. 

Pillay, who is the only Indian to represent India in four Olympics (1992 to 2004) and as many World Cups, said,” I came from a humble background but to  be the recipient of the President of India’s honour thrice remains a memorable chapter in history of hockey. But I put in hard work for all the achievements I gathered including the love of people in the international hockey arena. More sponsors and corporate houses should join hands to give the revival of hockey a big boost.” 

Hockey India is looking for talents through the academies and this will help Indian hockey to achieve greater heights, Pillay said. “These national championships pave way for players to emerge into national reckoning  and it is a good thing that selector are seated at the venue before tournament begins. All India Nationals were held earlier also and is continuing like the Nehru and Shastri Cup in Delhi, Beighton Cup in Kolkata, KD Singh Babu Tournament in Lucknow,” added the 53-year-old.

“I am pleased to see how Tata Steel has been promoting hockey with state-of-the-art facilities supported by experts, coaches and trainers. I look forward to see some of the finest players from the championship represent India at various international tournaments,” added Padma Shri Dr Dhanraj Pillay

“There are two Naval Tata Hockey Academies in India, one in Jamshedpur and the other in Odisha. Surjit Hockey Academy in Punjab has produced around seven players who have represented India and current Indian team captain Manpreet Singh is also from the same Punjab Academy. Similarly, there are many academies in Punjab which produce top quality players,” signed out the illustrious and former India captain, Padma Shri Dr Dhanraj Pillay.

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