New Delhi:Former Indian hockey captain Dilip Tirkey is disappointed on his surprise omission from the list of probables, but he is not disheartened and draws inspiration from cricketer Sourav Ganguly to earn his place back in the national side.
"I am disappointed but not disheartened. I will continue playing in domestic tournaments to maintain my fitness and form," said the veteran defender in an interview from Mumbai, where he is playing in an All India tournament.
"Like Sourav, I too witnessed good and bad faces in my career. But I admire his fighting spirit which is inspirational for any sportsperson," Tirkey added.
Tirkey has been left out of the list of India's 48 probables announced by the ad-hoc selection committee yesterday for various international events spread over next four years, including 2010 Commonwealth Games, World Cup and 2010 Asian Games.
"It is really sad that I won't get a chance to play in such prestigious events to be held in India for the first time. I was expecting my selection as I was satisfied with my performance in domestic circuit," he said.
The 30-year-old, whose future has been a subject of speculation, was last seen in action during India's doomed Olympic qualifier in Chile. Thereafter, he picked up an ankle injury and did not feature in the Azlan Shah squad where India finished runners-up.
Tirkey, who recently made his comeback to domestic circuit in the Muruguppa Gold Cup in Chennai, said he has no retirement plans in immediate future.
"I still have two or three years of hockey left in me. If I don't get a chance to play international events, I will play in the domestic circuit on regular basis and I am sure that with decent performance I will be back in the national team," said the three-time Olympian.
He also said that after representing India for more than a decade, it pains to face such a situation.
"What really hurts me is that after playing international hockey for more than a decade, you have to face situation like this. But it happens in every player's career, so one has to be prepared for it." he said.
Asked about his fitness concerns, he said he is 100 per cent fit and can play at any level.
"I have regained complete fitness after the ankle injury. That's why I am playing and my confidence level is also high," said Tirkey.
He also expressed his happiness with the ad-hoc committee's step to include young bloods in the probables' list and termed it as a "futuristic approach".
"There are many young and talented players who will do well for sure. There are three drag flickers in the list which is a good sign. It is necessary to give youngsters a chance," he said.
Tirkey also claims that Indian hockey will regain its old glory but the process will take time.
"Good or bad phase is a part and parcel of the game. I have full faith in our talent and India will definitely bounce back. Chak de," said the veteran.