Last Updated: January 15, 2023, 17:18 IST
India haven’t received a World Cup medal since profitable gold within the 1975 version however Tirkey, one of many best defenders of his time and former captain, mentioned the hosts below Graham Reid can stand on the rostrum within the ongoing mega-event at dwelling.
“We have fielded the Indian crew to win a medal this time, we might need India to be within the medal tally. They are at present enjoying very well,” Tirkey told PTI in an interview.
“But modern hockey has changed a lot. Penalty corners have become very important. When the penalty corner conversion clicks, most of the time the team wins. We have very good drag flickers and I hope they click in the tournament and win a medal for India.
“(Captain) Harmanpreet Singh has been doing very well for the country as a drag flicker though he was not at his best against Spain. So, we are hoping India does well in penalty corners,” mentioned Tirkey, the most-capped Indian participant (412 matches). Asked if India can beat the likes of defending champions Belgium and world primary Australia, he mentioned, “The crew fought in opposition to Australia very effectively within the (five-match) sequence, they’d competed very effectively.
“Belgium can be among the best sides on this planet. But India is now able to combat in opposition to any crew on this planet on a specific day.” Tirkey, a three-time Olympian, also said that the Hockey India League (HIL) will be revived and the national federation is trying to restart it by the end of this year.
“Restarting HIL is on the main agenda of Hockey. We are trying to restart it by the end of this year, we are going to find an agency to hold the league on a long-term sustainable basis and also the franchises,” he mentioned.
He additionally mentioned that the World Cup in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela will set the benchmark for future host international locations of the marque event.
“When Kalinga stadium hosted the 2018 World Cup remaining, I believed that was the perfect stadium. But after I got here right here and noticed myself and after talking to coaches and gamers, it (Birsa Munda stadium) is solely magnificent. I believe there isn’t any higher stadium (than this) on this planet,” Tirkey said.
“Of course, if a better stadium than this comes up, that will be good for hockey. With this world’s largest stadium hosting the World Cup along with the Kalinga Stadium, no doubt this World Cup will set the benchmark for future editions.” Tirkey, who was born at Saunamara village in Sundargarh district of Odisha, mentioned after the World Cup the Birsa Munda stadium can host coaching camps of the nationwide groups in addition to home championships, moreover Pro League matches in March.
“There might be Pro League matches right here in March, there might be home championships and Asian Games and Olympics preparation for the nationwide groups.
“The Indian girls’s crew has certified for the Pro League (after profitable the FIH Nation’s Cup) and we will have publicity tournaments right here,” he said. Asked how much the game has changed in the country since his playing days, Tirkey recollected a time when he was forced to travel to Kolkata and Delhi to play on astroturf surfaces.
“It was in 1989-90, I would go to Kolkata and then to Delhi to play on astroturf. Now, only in Odisha, there are 35 astroturf surfaces. All 17 blocks of Sundergarh will have astroturf surfaces. So, a lot of things have changed. I thank the Odisha government for this,” he mentioned.
“Even my village of delivery now has artificial sand turf. Earlier, we didn’t actually have a correct hockey floor within the village. Now small children in our village can be taught hockey by correct teaching. So a lot has modified now.” he signed off.
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