No plans to retire

REACTING sharply to a report in a vernacular daily, the captain of the Indian hockey team, Dhanraj Pillay, categorically denied any plan of retirement from hockey after the Athens Olympics. While interacting with mediapersons, the captain said that he would play for the country till his services were needed.

Pillay said that "the present hockey team was fully competent and physically fit to take any challenge for the next couple of years. The present team, a mixture of experience and new talent, was in perfect coordination to give its best and a place in the world".

He said that "the recent performances were a big boost for the team's morale and the players were preparing very hard for the big challenge with full confidence in the forthcoming World hockey championship".

Lauding the role of the Indian Hockey Federation, Dhanraj Pillay said that it was under the leadership of K. P. S. Gill, who was leaving no stone unturned for the development of the sport that hockey was getting a boost.

The team members went in for intensive physical exercise at the gymnasium of the Army Public School, Dagshai.