Stick2hockey presents hockey year book 2008
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Download PDF Hockey has always been eventful
Prabir Biswas, Radhtriya Sahara English Monthly, April 1998

Hockey has always been eventful, occupying prime place in the sports pages of newspapers and magazines for right or wrong reasons. But the game in India has received scant attention compared to cricket as far as literature on records accomplished in the sport is concerned. This is all the more depressing considering that the game has had a glorious record before the partition, and till the sixties and after the country attained Independence. Hardly anyone attempted to put all the things together for the benefit of the posterity. A few books were penned but they lacked adequate treatment—the last book on field hockey was written way in back in 1978 by Aslam Sher Kham titled: The hell with hockey.

To that extent, the concept of a year book on hokey is timely, unique and a welcome step . It is refreshing to find the author, K. Arumugam—a seasoned observer of the game – to come out with his second year book: Hockey Year Book 1998. The author had earlier gifted the connoisseurs of the game a year book in 1995. The new concept chronicles all events of the game in a year – news, views, interviews, review of tournaments (domestic and international), statistics, analysis and anecdotes.

The Year Book provides a welcome relief to the ardent fans in dispensing with the efforts to obtain information on the vital statistics of the game by going through different and sometimes obtuse sources. To that extent the document gives significant and perspective glimpses into competitive hockey as it was played during 1996. As for those who are grieved by the current state of the game and are left groping for solution, the book provides significant clues as t why Indian hockey now is good only by fits and starts.

The author has taken pains to ensure that this time the treatise is way ahead in terms of quality as compared to the first year book. There is a distinct change in the format reflecting the innovative bent of mind of the author.

The second of the ten chapters in the book subtitled Hallow Promise, Slow progress, Hello Hockey, is a carefully researched piece. The chapter deals with the administration (read maladministration) of the game by the much acclaimed KPS Gill. With the support of painstakingly collected date and interview of various personalities, the author chronicles all the wrong steps taken by the regime under Gill in the past three years. One also gets a conceptual view as to how the game took a backseat due to the needless politicking in the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF). The author’s countdown begins with non-conduct of the Senior National Championship for a record three years and ends with details on the manhandling of the IHF’s treasurer by another set of Federation Officials. In between, countless anecdotes corroborate his theory of how bad officialdom brought bad name to the sport on both the domestic and international fronts.

The anxiety of a man for whom hockey is dear to his heart is reflected when the author pleads for a thorough inquiry into the shoddy dealings of the IHF after exposing biased pool groupings and deputation of prejudiced umpires by the body to achieve malicious designs According to him, probably that was the reason why none of the companies – Kuber, Iodex, Sahara – who sponsored major tournaments in the recent past – did not venture back the second time. The author cites misappropriation of funds, unprofessional approach by the persons at the echelons of hockey management in the country, dis-respect to the sponsors and dishonoring of avowed commitments as the main cause for this dismal state of affairs.

The book also opens up new vistas. The novel chapter ‘Pick of the Year identifies the player of the year Men (Sarabjit Kumar of the Border Security Force) Player of the year women (Sandeep Kaur), Office of the year (Surjit Hockey Tournament Society), Official of the Year (KTS Tulsi), rising star of the year – men Altaf-ur-Rahman and raising star of the year – women Sumrai Tete.

However, the book has hit the stand six months late. The author attributes the delay to the marketing hassles. With an eye-catching cover design by Ajit Edwin, caricature by Madras-based cartoonist SS Maniam, the sleekly produced book could well be a buyer’s delight.

Hockey Year book 2008
Hockey Year book 2008
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Hockey Year book 2008
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