It was an incident hard to miss.

While the organisers unveiled a glittering trophy for the Hockey World League Final — to be played at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here from January 10 — inside a five-star hotel on Wednesday, 500-odd children waved banners outside demanding the Bharat Ratna for the hockey legend.

The two events were unrelated but highlighted the contrast in Indian hockey – a glorious but long-forgotten past, a hopeful present and an uncertain future, all struggling for recognition.

The upcoming competition, Hockey India hoped, would help in get some recognition.

“We have worked hard for the event. This is a young team and we have also suffered a few injuries to key players.

It will be very tough but we are looking at finishing among the top-five, which will be a commendable result given the field,” said India captain Sardar Singh during the unveiling in the presence of captains from all participating teams.

More In: Hockey | Sport