Pillai unhappy with coach

India's star hockey player Dhanraj Pillai says he's unhappy playing under a foreign coach and won't play against Pakistan next month.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:09 IST
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After a dismal team performance at Athens, India's star hockey player Dhanraj Pillai has said he's unhappy playing under a foreign coach and won't play against Pakistan next month. 36-year-old Pillai, who has been at the centre of a controversy for his critical remarks against coach Gerhard Rach, came in towards the fag end in the classification match against South Korea today and had another swipe at his German-born coach. "It is sad that I did not get to play a little more. It was my last Olympics and I wanted to contribute. But may be the coach felt that Adam Sinclair was a better player than me," he said after the match, which India won 5-2 to take the seventh position in the Olympics. Veterans left out The Indian think tank opted to keep the veterans like Pillai and Baljeet Singh Dhillon out of the last match and tried out the youngsters for most part of the game, a clear indication that the duo would be eased out of the squad. Indian Hockey Federation president KPS Gill also gave a clear hint when he said he was looking at building a young team as players above 28 years of age should not play in the Olympics. When asked about his retirement plans, Pillai said, "I have not taken any decision. I will play in the Malaysian league for one and half months and shall take a decision after returning home. "We did not do well in the Olympics. Our performance was not good. We had expected a lot of things but it just did not work out. We missed too many chances, you cant do it at this level," Pillai said. He was extremely unhappy since the coach did not consider him for the first eleven and team sources said that he was unwilling to take the field for only a few minutes. The star striker apparently told the coach that it was his last match in the Olympics and deserved to play for a longer time but Rach was not impressed much. Tussle with coach The coach reportedly told Pillai that if he refused to take the field, India would play with ten players. The temperamental striker is known to have problems with the coaches of the past like Cedric D'Souza, Vasudevan Baskaran and even Rajinder Singh, who was sacked just a few weeks before the Olympics and replaced by Rach. But the German is known to be a disciplinarian and has not been much amused with Pillay's temperamental ways and has made it clear to the team members that indiscipline would not be tolerated.
(With PTI inputs)