New Delhi: Young striker Ramandeep Singh’s exclusion from the Hockey World Cup following an injury — the 21-year old suffered a nasty blow during the team’s first practice game against Argentina at the Hague, Holland, on Sunday — has left India’s plans in disarray. Chief coach Terry Walsh showed his displeasure, saying Sunday’s incident “clearly reflected the laxity that allowed players to implement the overhead shot with such reckless abandon”.
Field hockey is one of the many sports that have adapted new rules in recent times to make the game faster and commercially more viable. But Walsh hinted that perhaps it was time to review those changes. A scoop shot by Argentina’s Gonzalo Peillat hit Ramandeep on the right cheekbone, leaving him with three fractures. The 21-year old from Punjab underwent multiple surgeries at a hospital in the Hague, and will return to India for further treatment after two days, said Walsh from Holland.
“It was no doubt an accident, but a clear reflection of the laxity in our rules. Unfortunately, Ramandeep was carelessly injured and has had surgery to repair a multi-fracture to his cheek bone. Although he was sipping tea when we saw him in hospital this evening, his eyes told the story very clearly. His courage is undoubtedly an inspiration to all of us.
“I am very saddened to see such an improved and key player missing from our lineup,” said Walsh. “A very disappointing moment for Ramandeep particularly and our World Cup preparations,” Walsh added. Lalit Upadhyay was named as a replacement and joined the squad in Holland on the day. Ramandeep said he was left devastated. “I had worked so hard to reach here, and this injury has left me heartbroken. It all happened so suddenly,” he told this paper....