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Punjab, Powerhouse Behind Indian Hockey’s Olympics, CWG Medals, Fails To Qualify For National Games

At the senior national hockey championship held in March, Punjab lost to Delhi 2-3 in the quarterfinals as a result of which it does not find itself eligible to play at the National Games.

Sources said that due to the politics within Punjab Hockey the team which has been mostly making the podium finish is also suffering. (Photo Credit: File/PTI)

Chandigarh: The state which has 11 players in the national hockey team that first won the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics 2020, and later a silver medal at the 22nd Commonwealth Games at Birmingham, will not be able to participate at the 36th National Games this year being held in Gujarat. The top eight teams participate in the National Games. The qualification is based on the results of the senior national championship results.

At the senior national hockey championship held in March, Punjab lost to Delhi 2-3 in the quarterfinals as a result of which it does not find itself eligible to play at the National Games. As a result of this, questions are being raised on the ad hoc committee and the selection committee which had sent the team for the national championship.

This ad hoc committee was formed after Hockey India had dissolved Hockey Punjab over the allegations that the election process adopted by the state body was in complete violation of the rules laid down by Hockey India. Sources said that due to the politics within Punjab Hockey the team which has been mostly making the podium finish is also suffering.

Subsequently, an ad hoc committee had been formed under the leadership of Bhola Nath Singh, Balwinder Shammi, and Cdr RK Srivastava.

While at the 11th Senior National Championship held in December 2021 Punjab won a gold medal defeating Uttar Pradesh 2-1. Within three months, at the 12th senior nationals, Punjab could not even make it to the quarter-finals after having lost to Delhi 2-3 at the group stage.

Punjab won a gold medal at the 34th National Games in 2011 held at Ranchi.

Notably, India’s hockey captain Manpreet Singh, vice-captain Harmanpreet Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh, Varun Kumar, Dilpreet Singh, Hardik Singh, Gurjant Singh, Mandeep Singh, Shamsher Singh, and Simranjeet Singh, and Krishan Pathak are all from Punjab. However, most of them were preparing for international hockey competitions such as Commonwealth Games and were not available for domestic duty.

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