Former India captain Dhanraj Pillay believes age won't hamper his performance during the World Series Hockey tournament (WSH) that kicks off on December 17.

Dhanraj Pillay

Pillay (43) yesterday became the oldest player to sign up for the franchise-based tournament. "Age is just a number. 

Martina Navratilova played  Wimbledon at the age of 49 despite tennis being such a physically demanding sport.  Why can't I play at 43?" said Pillay, who trains hard to keep himself in shape even now.

"It's my passion for hockey that keeps pushing me to train harder. I'm on the field every morning from 6.30 to somewhere between 10.30 or 11.30. Also, I don't have any vices like smoking or drinking.

"I am in good condition as I have been playing first-class hockey regularly," said Pillay, who has been doubling up as a player-cum-coach for his employers  Air India.

"I take inspiration from younger players.  Watching them train motivates me to work harder," said the four time Olympian.

Pillay confirmed that he won't be auctioned like most of the other players, but will join one of the two franchisees,  Mumbai or Pune.

"The organisers told me that I won't be auctioned. I am most likely to play for Mumbai or Pune. I'm close to both cities. But personally I would prefer Mumbai," said Pillay, who was born in Pune but settled in Mumbai.