Former Hockey champion Ashok Kumar thinks the Indian men’s hockey team had a good chance if the Olympics didn’t postpone to the next year. But unfortunately, it did because of the COVID-19 outbreak. He doubts if the team would be in such a good shape next year as it is now.
Ashok Kumar is known for being a part of the winning Indian team and for scoring the winning goal in the World Cup final, 1975. It was the only time India grabbed the trophy in the history of the tournament. He has even won a bronze medal at the Munich Olympics in 1972. Apart from his amazing game and skills, his popularity is largely based on the fact that he is the son of the greatest hockey player ever, Dhyan Chand.
He said, “If the Olympics were held this year, we definitely had some chances. We had shown improvement and we could have got some good results there. Definitely, there is a break in momentum and it will really make a big difference. You can’t say now. We will talk about it next year seeing how they perform in the build-up to the Olympics.” as quoted by PTI.
He further added, “Even Graham Reid will have a big question mark going on his head now. Coaching is going on inside closed doors. Unless you see them in real matches, how will you assess… He’s not a machine.”
“Even our women’s team were in the peak of their form and they too had bright chances but now we never know. We will talk about the Olympics only next year,” the 70-year-old said.
Kumar concluded by appreciating the progress over the recent years, “We have a balanced squad at the moment. We have plugged the hole of leaking goals at the last minute. Our defense is much better now. We have some good drag-flickers in Rupinder Pal Singh and Simarnjeet Singh. The forwards just need to combine a bit more and show ball anticipation.” Ashok concluded.