Former India hockey captain Dhanraj Pillai on Wednesday advised the five senior players, who have been issued showcause notices by Hockey India for leaving the Bangalore camp to attend a promotional event, not to beg the federation to play for the country.
“They should not fall at the feet of Hockey India officials to play for India,” said Pillai on the sidelines of a media conference here to announce the launch of the 1st Virar-Vasai Mayor’s Marathon on September 18.
The five seniors — Arjun Halappa, Sandeep Singh, Adrian D’Souza, Sardara Singh and Prabjot Singh — left the camp in Bangalore to attend a media conference by rival body Indian Hockey Federation and Neo Sports regarding the scheduled World Series Hockey for which they have signed a deal to play.
They returned to Bangalore for the camp but have not been allowed to rejoin training, pending their replies to the showcause issued by HI development committee head and chairman of its disciplinary panel, Pargat Singh.
Pillai also hit out at his one-time India teammate Pargat for having taken up a senior role in HI, which he said, was the brainchild of former Indian Olympic Association president Suresh Kalmadi — the man whom the former skipper had despised earlier.
“The same Pargat Singh had called Kalmadi a mafia. He took up the job in HI which has been foisted by Kalmadi once the carrot of a position was dangled in front of him,” said Pillai.
Pillai said he would go all out in support of WSH as “it’s a very good thing for all Indian players”. “I am going to sign with them,” he added.