Notify hockey as national game: Dhyan Chand’s son to govt

Bhubaneswar: Ashok Kumar, son of hockey legend Dhyan Chand on Saturday rallied behind the ongoing demand to notify hockey as the national game of the country.

In an exclusive interview to OTV, Kumar who himself is a former hockey player also lashed out at the Union government for failing to provide adequate funds to improve the standard of the game.

It is pertinent to mention that on June 20, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking steps to officially notify hockey as the national game of the country.

“Without sponsorships and government’s assistance, the game of Hockey has become incomplete. There are not even basic facilities available in schools and colleges. We are not begging before the government. This is public’s money which we are asking the authorities to spend for the development of the game,” Kumar alleged.

“If hockey can’t be officially notified as national game, no other sports should be given that status,” he added.

Kumar said that one hockey stick costs Rs 10,000 and a ground is worth Rs 5 crore which explains how much fund is required for hockey.

His comment came barely two days after Union Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore had said no official declaration is required to make hockey the national game.

In an interview to ANI, Rathore had said, “For loving sports & hockey, we don’t need official proclamation that now its national sports & let’s start loving it. Even in terms of facilities, hockey is one of the priority sports for our country.”