August 03, 2020
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Dhanraj Pillay

India's best hockey player, on being dropped from the South African tour

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Dhanraj Pillay
Despite an Asiad gold and great performances at home, why have you been dropped?
Some people in the ihf and some senior players don't like me, because we have been making demands for the team. But I had made peace with the officials recently. So I'm surprised I've been dropped.

What kind of peace should the top player make with the officials?
Just to clear friction. The coach Bhaskaran and Gill told me that I will be in the team.

How's your relationship with K.P.S. Gill?
I've no problems with him.

He says you were dropped to accommodate a fresh player?
I am fit to play international hockey. The ihf can't prove me unfit to play before 2002. I challenge them.

Fundamentally, what is the problem between you and the IHF?
See, I know how much money is coming into the IHF through tournaments and other sources. All senior players know that. All I'm saying is players should get their due.

What does the ihf plan to do with all the money?
I don't know.

What are India's chances without you and other senior players who have been dropped?
I don't think we have any chance in the Olympics without Ashish Ballal, Mukesh Kumar, Sandeep Somesh, Sabu Varkey and me. Without us, India lost a series to Pakistan and Germany.

What's the solution now?
All I can say is that there are some people in the ihf who don't care for the country.

You're on contract with the German club HC Stuttgart.
There is good money. But I'd any day prefer playing for India.

What if you are dropped for the Olympics and the Germans want you in the national side?
That won't happen. Anyway, I'll never play for Germany.

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