For the first time in the history of Asian Games, Indian hockey team returned  medal less. The do or die match with republic of Korea ended in a draw  and the league match that we lost to China cost us the place in the next  round. To be honest we never seemed like we were out to win, that we  were eager to get home a gold medal. I think much of this is due to the  fact that the only time hockey is mentioned in India is durign the Olympics, world cup  and these asian games and some tours, so around three or four times a  year. Mr KPS Gill said it was dissapointing. Well Mr Gill you can say that  again. Nobody cares for hockey, people (including the writer) follow even  the English Premier League but not our national sport. I think its a question  worth spending some time on. Is it because cricket seems to complement  our new global identity? but we are not even doing well in cricket now a  days, but im very sure  that people will again stick to the TV sets on 15th as  we begin our test matches in South Africa.
India had a golden era in Hockey and not just one or two good seasons, an  era that continued for over ten years. A sport that has such a rich history  cant lose its importance like this. Do a handfull of multi national companies  really decide whats hip in this country or do we do ourselves? I am not  entirely sure if its the latter. We can blame the coach and the out of form  team but the fact is that once we begin not caring, the initiatives that players  have to take starts becoming less important and eventually becomes  worthless. Some time back something called Premier Hockey League  began in India with the objective of exploring the talent and popularising  hockey by encouraging startups of independent clubs like that in football. I  would be understating if I said that it failed to do so. If Hockey is to become  popular again it has to do what cricket did so sucessfully, become  something more than just a sport. Premier Hockey League has to look for some really good marketing. Selling merchandise on the web simply wont  help. If youve ever watched a hockey match, youd know that it is in no way less exciting than a football match, of course you can differ from me on this,  its just that most people who never follow hockey are the ones who have  never seen a hockey match and this is again due to inferior marketing.
Btw heres an update on the Doha Asian Games. India has got its seventh gold medal in womens racing. Sania just lost the womens singles finals in  tennis but she was brilliant as ever. Sania, you go girl. As of now India 43 medals (7 G, 17 S, 19 B). Full rankings here.