Dhanraj decides to play in PHL

After initial uncertainty, Dhanraj Pillay decided to play in the Premier Hockey League and contribute all the money to tsunami victims.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:47 IST
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Indian Hockey Federation president KPS Gill has declared that Dhanraj Pillay's international career is over. But for fans who worship him, the Premier Hockey League in Hyderabad is a great opportunity to see the star forward in action. Noble cause After initial uncertainty, Dhanraj decided to play here and contribute all the money to tsunami victims. His team Maratha Warriors led by Viren Rasquinha takes on Ignace Tirkey's Chennai Veerans on Friday. "I am playing this for the tsunami victims who have lost their family. I want to give all the money I make here to the Prime Minister's Relief Fund," said Dhanraj Pillay, former captain, Indian Hockey Team. The mercurial forward seems to have sobered down a bit. Unlike the past when he would flare up, Dhanraj decided not to take a shot at IHF chief KPS Gill's comments. Gill had declared Dhanraj's international career as over. "I don't want to comment on that. Right now I am concentrating on the Premier Hockey League," said Pillay. Looking ahead The IHF too is happy that Dhanraj who is still a huge draw in Hyderabad has made it, but says the focus will now shift to more younger players. "Our next aim is to prepare the team for the Olympics 2008 in Beijing. Taking into consideration that Olympics, that is the basis to decide which player will play for India today or tomorrow," said K Jothikumaran, secretary, Indian Hockey Federation. Dhanraj will be seen in action for his Maratha Warriors team which takes on Chennai Veerans on Friday – a chance for Dhanraj to prove that the old warhorse still knows his tricks.