The State of Odisha Deserves Full Accolades for Attempting to Revive Hockey!

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  • How many of the present generation know that Hockey is the Indian national sport? Don’t be surprised if the majority of Gen Z doesn’t battle an eyelid whilst mentioning cricket as the national sport. Don’t be befuddled by such a response. The Indian sporting scenario is perpetually bombarded with high-octane cricket telecasts around the year and the current generation is bound to feel there is no other sport but cricket. Cannot doubt them or for that matter the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for not only making the game of cricket extremely popular in the country but also showing a way for the wannabe sports aspirants that a rewarding career could be sustainable by embracing the same.

PC:Vinay

  • Look at how the Indian Premier League (IPL) has transformed the sporting landscape in the country over the last decade or so. The amount of revenue generated from the shortest format of cricket is mind-boggling and ranks second only to the most popular game in the world, football. No wonder, every kid wants to hold the cricket bat and ball wishing to break into the big league. Now, whatever happened to hockey over the decades since India used to rule the roost with such panache back then? Lack of patronage, lethargy in propagating the beautiful game, failure to adopt a smart marketing strategy, absence of world-class infrastructure including training facilities, and general apathy towards the game has rendered Hockey, an unattractive proposition.
  • Thankfully, the Odisha government led by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has stepped into reviving hockey over the last few years. As such, the Odisha government and the CM deserves full credit for hosting the Hockey World Cup for the second time in a row. The marquee event kicked off recently in the twin host cities of Bhubaneswar and Rourkela, the latter showcasing the new state-of-the-art Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium built at a cost of more than Rs 250 crore. It’s a fitting tribute to the cradle of Indian hockey. Sundargarh district where Rourkela is situated has produced more than 50 national hockey players including Lazarus Barla, Dilip Tirkey, and Jyoti Kullu. If Indian hockey is to be revived to its former glory, Odisha will certainly play a key part.

PC:Ruben Banerjee

  • That revival could receive a fillip at the Cup as India for the first time enters the tournament as a current Olympic medalist. But the team’s Tokyo bronze will be put to a serious test. Remember, India last won this tournament way back in 1975. The game changed dramatically over subsequent decades as the playing surface switched from grass to astroturf. Plus, a string of poor performances led to the shrinking of hockey’s fan base. Simultaneously, the rise of cricket eclipsed the national sport. However, the Tokyo bronze has laid the platform for a resurgence. A podium finish here will iconise the current crop of players and attract more youngsters to the game. It’s the faith of die-hard hockey fans that have kept the game alive in India. A World Cup medal will be a perfect finish.

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Krishna MV
Krishna is a Post Graduate with specialization in English Literature and Human Resource Management, respectively. Having served the Indian Air Force with distinction for 16 years, Armed Forces background definitely played a very major role in shaping as to who & what he is right now. Presently, he is employed as The Administrator of a well known educational institute in Bangalore. He is passionate about sharing thoughts by writing articles on the current affairs / topics with insightful dissection and offering counter / alternate views thrown in for good measure. Also, passionate about Cricket, Music – especially vintage Kannada & Hindi film songs, reading – non-fictional & Self-Help Books, and of course, fitness without compromising on the culinary pleasures.