| Dhanraj Pillay (left) during a practice match in New Delhi Tuesday. (AFP)
New Delhi: Indian hockey coach Rajinder Singh on Tuesday denied there was any groupism in the team and stressed there was no ‘boycott’ of star striker Dhanraj Pillay by the junior players during the bronze medal match against Pakistan in the recent Champions Trophy.
“If there had been any groupism, the kind of performance you saw from the team could not have been possible,” Singh said at the Asian Games training camp at the Dhyan Chand National Stadium here.
Pillay was reported to have accused some junior teammates of not giving him passes in the crucial match because they were peeved that he got all the credit for the success against Pakistan in the league match earlier.
“You must have noticed in the second match against Pakistan that there was hardly any pass given to me in the forwardline... Some of the youngsters from Punjab, who had played the junior World Cup, were jealous that I was given the credit for the team’s win,” Pillay had been quoted.
“We have lot of lobbies in the team and with this kind of problem how can you expect us to play brilliantly,” he had said.
However, neither Pillay nor any of the other players were ready to speak on the issue.
Singh also declined to respond specifically to Pillay’s charges.
“If you have seen the match you would know that Dhanraj was fully marked. As for me, the team put up a good performance and we are now concentrating on the Asian Games,” he said.
Indian Hockey Federation chief K.P.S.Gill too was diplomatic in his response to Pillay’s comments. “If you have seen the match, it should be clear to you whether what is said is true or not,” was all that he would say.