Pawar man bats with Pillay to promote hockey

Top NCP leader RR Patil has come out with his unstinted support to popularising hockey.

updated: May 31, 2008 12:35 IST
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In a befitting reply to Sharad Pawar's critics that the NCP boss is engrossed in cricket at the cost of other sports and farmers, his top party leader in Maharashtra has decided to promote hockey in the state.

RR Patil, who is also Deputy Chief Minister, has come out with his unstinted support to popularising the national game and helping take it to rural hinterland to encourage budding talent.

"I was amazed by the support shown by him for promoting the game," hockey ace Dhanraj Pillay, who met Patil at Mantralaya, told PTI.

"He assured us all help and his full participation in our activities," Pillay, whose Dhanraj Pillay Hockey Academy is currently organising a training camp for children at the Bombay Hockey Association astro-turf in south Mumbai, said.

"The patronage of such a big government functionary will help us take hockey to rural areas of Maharashtra," Pillay, whose Academy is planning to organise hockey events in various parts of western Maharashtra, Marathwada and Vidarbha region, added.

Patil, who also holds the Home portfolio, will be present at the astro-turf on May 29 to encourage the budding hockey talent.

He would also witness an exhibition match between international and local players.