Sandeep would be missed in the World Cup

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Sandeep Singh's bullet-accident continues the curious jinx in Indian hockey.

updated: February 25, 2007 11:36 IST
  • Total Shares

New Delhi:

Sandeep Singh's bullet-accident continues the curious jinx in Indian hockey. After Rajiv Mishra and Jugraj Singh, Sandeep is now the third rising star in recent times whose career has been badly hit by an injury. Unfortunately for India, it has come at a time when the team had rediscovered its form, and was looking good to do well at the World Cup. Sandeep's loss is a huge setback to the team, not just at a tactical level, but also an emotional one. "This comes as a huge loss to our team, since he has become a key player, as our penalty-corner specialist," said Dilip Tirkey, Captain, Indian hockey team. "Some of the boys said that a huge motivating factor is that we will wear the national colours for Sandeep, and during the games," said Harendra Singh, Deputy Coach, Indian hockey team. The drag flicker, who has scored around 30 goals in 72 matches for India since his international debut at the 2004 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup would have been the key player for India at this World Cup. Phenomenal performance His conversion rate this year is a phenomenal 67 per cent, which means he has converted two out of every short corner he has taken. The challenge for the team will now be to overcome this void and motivate themselves to win the title for him. "The team should now work extra hard for Sandeep, who is not going to be there with them for a while. They should represent the country aiming to win laurels for India and indeed for Sandeep," said Dhanraj Pillay, former Indian hockey Captain. Just how badly his injury has hit the team can be gauged from the fact that the two drag-flickers, Jugraj Singh and young Vikramjit Singh, who had initially been taken to Germany have both been rejected as starters by the team management. That now means that Arjun Halappa will have to do this duty in Germany. The think tank, the players and the fans are now hoping fervently that Sandeep manages to recover in time for the Asian Games this December.