Ignoring seniors could be costly: Dhillon

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Baljit Singh Dhillon said the Indian Hockey Federation's attempt to ignore senior players in the Olympics could cost the country dearly.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:06 IST
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New Delhi:

A day after being excluded from a pool of 30 Olympic hopefuls, striker Baljit Singh Dhillon today said the Indian Hockey Federation's attempt to ignore senior players and blood youngsters in the mega event could cost the country dearly. "They should not take chances in the Olympics by picking youngsters, who lack international exposure. It's quite tough at the highest level and there is a big gulf between the senior and junior matches," Dhillon said over phone from Jallandhar. "I don't think the inexperienced players have the temperament of playing in big matches. They may not able to handle the pressure. You can't replace experienced players in the Olympics with junior ones. It may cost the team a lot." Dhillon, who has so far played over 300 international matches in a career spanning over a decade, blamed coach Rajinder Singh for his omission. "I played fairly well in the Azlan Shah Cup, Test series against Holland and the Olympic qualifiers. I am also completely fit. I don't know why I was not picked. It's beyond my comprehension. May be the coach (Rajinder Singh) does not want me in the side," the 30-year-old said. "I don't think fitness was the criteria for selection. I can very well meet the need. I have played in tough conditions over the years. Even in the Olympic qualifiers in Madrid, we played in sub-zero conditions," he said. (PTI)