Even as millions of hockey fans across India and Pakistan would have been shocked to learn of the fight that broke out between the Indian and Pakistani hockey teams during an ongoing tri-nation series match in Australia recently, former skipper Viren Rasquinha wasn't surprised at all.
"This was simply idiotic and stupid... absolute nonsense... but it hasn't happened for the first time so I wasn't surprised at all. It's absolutely foolish to behave in such a violent manner during a match. There is no compromise for discipline in sport," said Rasquinha, who yesterday announced that he was coming out of retirement to take part in the inaugural World Series Hockey (WSH).
Hockey players from India and Pakistan teams fought last Friday in Busselton during a tri-nation tournament, following which three Indian players and two Indian officials were banned by the Federation Internationale de Hockey (FIH). "These fights happen only between Indian and Pakistani players and ironically it also harms these very players the most.
When Indian and Pakistani players play abroad they are always under the scanner and pulled up for the smallest of offences. We should learn discipline from international players," added Rasquinha, who will be rubbing shoulders with the cr me de la cr me of world hockey, in the franchise-based WSH that will be played across eight cities in India from December 17 to January 22.
Three years ago, Rasquinha swapped his India shirt for corporate wear after pursuing an MBA from Hyderabad's prestigious Indian School of Business (ISB) and thereafter joining the Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ) as CEO. Currently is training hard for his new assignment. "The prospect of playing with some of the world's best in the game is the biggest motivator for me making this comeback.
I've been training for the last two weeks and still have about 45 days to get fitter," said the 30-year-old, who clarified that he will not be taking a break from his position as OGQ CEO. "OGQ is an initiative to create Olympic heroes from India and there's no way I can sideline that. During the WSH, soon after my matches, I'll be back in my room and on my laptop continuing to work towards achieving India's Olympic glory," he said.
Meanwhile, India and Pakistan played out a 1-1 draw yesterday that saw Pakistan making the tri-nation final against Australia.