Hockey: Colts miss out on meeting PM Modi

The World Cup winning Indian junior men's hockey team was disappointed to not meet the Prime Minister Narendra Modi after it was told it would get a chance to meet him.

The entire squad and coaching staff had gathered in the capital for the felicitation that also saw Goel announce a cash incentive of Rs 3.70 lakh each for the players at his residence.   -  pti

The World Cup winning Indian junior men's hockey team was felicitated by Sports Minister Vijay Goel here on Wednesday and even though the players appreciated the gesture and thanked the ministry for the recognition, it was a let-down for most of them who had been told, in fact, that the team would get a chance to meet the Prime Minister as well in the morning.

The entire squad and coaching staff had gathered in the capital for the felicitation that also saw Goel announce a cash incentive of Rs 3.70 lakh each for the players at his residence.

For the past several days, the players had been under the illusion that they would get to meet Narendra Modi also. Several of them, playing in the Beighton Cup in Kolkata, had even been quoted as saying that they would bee seeking job assurances from the Prime Minister at the meeting.

But the team remained cooped up in rooms at the DLTA before arriving for Goel's felicitation in the evening. “We were told we would be meeting the Prime Minister and we were excited about it but there was nothing. We don't know whether it was a late development or some kind of miscommunication but all of us were given to believe the same. Even our families were looking forward to our meeting Mr. Modi, it would have been a big honour for us,” most of the players said.

The players, though, welcomed the reward announced by the ministry. “It's a great encouragement for us to be recognised for the achievement. It reassures us that the government is behind us in our efforts,” they said.

Physio puts in his papers

Meanwhile, Shrikant Iyengar, who had been associated with the Indian hockey team for almost eight years as physio, put in his papers on Wednesday citing personal reasons. Iyengar was largely credited with ensuring the players' fitness and successful rehabilitation after injuries to several players and was a permanent fixture with Indian hockey, working with both men and women.

Hockey India has accepted his resignation and would be looking for a replacement in the coming months since there isn't any assignment for the national side till March.