- The Indore Municipal Corporation built a treatment plant on the grounds of Prakash Hockey Club, so the children cannot play
- Former Indian goalkeeper Meer Ranjan Negi has been helping children to practice on the pavement and the road for two and a half years
- He told – Due to less space, he is not able to teach long passes to players
Indore: More than 200 players practice daily on the city’s Chimanbagh grounds and Prakash Hockey Club. But on the grounds of Prakash Hockey Club a treatment plant has been established by Indore Municipal Corporation. So the children cannot practice here. Former Indian players like Shankar Laxman, Kishan Dada and Mirranjan Negi have played on this ground.
Due to the treatment plant being built, players are forced to practice on the road. Former Indian goalkeeper Meer Ranjan Negi, who taught hockey to Shah Rukh Khan in the film Chak De India, has been forced to give them hockey training on the road the last for two-and-a-half years. He has been training 60 to 70 children for the last 18 years.
Negi said- “Due to lack of ground I can only give players information about dribbling and short passes. Long passes cannot be taught. There is also a difference in the speed of the ball on cement and turf. Players will be at a disadvantage while playing on the ground.”
Negi said – There is no ground for hockey in Indore
Mir Ranjan Negi told Dainik Bhaskar, “We celebrate Sports Day on the birth anniversary of hockey wizard Major Dhyanchand, but unfortunately, there is no ground for hockey in Indore. Players here are forced to play on clay instead of astroturf. At some point, the turf was introduced in areas like Dhar, where the number of players is quite low. More than 200 players practice daily in Indore, but still, the government does not promote this game.”
48 years ago, 500 players used to play hockey here
Negi said, “I joined Prakash Hockey Club in Indore in 1972. At that time there were more than 500 players practicing daily. But the number of players started to fall. The number of playgrounds was quite high in Indore, but the hockey grounds were few. Hockey was played at Musakhedi, Chimanbagh and Daly College grounds. At that time I used to go by airplane and used to see players on the grounds below. Today there are just buildings and houses.”
No use of making hockey turf so far from city
Negi told that turf is being made by the government by constructing a hockey academy in Rau region. There would be no benefit of making turf so far away from the city. If the government wants to build a hockey academy, then it should develop turf in the middle of the city. I have not heard till date that a child from that area played hockey.
Hockey takes back seat as Indore becomes centre of cricket
Jalaluddin Rizvi, secretary of Madhya Pradesh Hockey Association, said that Indore has become the center of cricket, so the hockey has taken back seat. If 200 children are playing in Indore, the associations should work for the development of hockey. It is very sad not to install turf in Indore yet. Indore has the right to have turf. The association will provide all help for hockey in Indore, Rizvi said.
(Story by Mayank Yadav)