New Delhi: Aslam Sher Khan, the head of the Indian Olympic Association appointed five-member selection committee after dissolving the IHF, on Tuesday, said he wanted the Team India to be a united as shown in Bollywood flick 'Chak de India'.
"We have to make a Team India as you have seen in Bollywood blockbuster 'Chak de India'. There are players from several part of the country. We have to unite them to make a powerful force," Khan said.
Khan, a former national selector who had resigned owing to differences with IHF administration on selection process, said he had his own plans.
"Earlier there used to be a bunch of 50-60 players and teams were selected as if they are playing musical chair. There have been instances where a player was selected for an international event despite he not having played even in domestic hockey. This will not happen now and we will select the team after several rounds of trials," he said.
He also said players like Gagan Ajit Singh, Len Aiyappa, Arjun Halappa, Dilip and Prabodh Tirky, who were sidelined during KPS Gill's term, would be taken into consideration during team selection.
But the former Olympian said his priority was to bring transparency and professionalism in selection process. "For the first time in the history former players are involved in Indian hockey administration. We will try to bring back its old glory. Our first priority will be to make the administration accountable and to bring transparency in team selection process," Khan said.
The selection panel, led by Khan, also includes former Olympians Zafar Iqbal, Ashok Kumar, Ajitpal Singh and Dhanraj Pillay. It was formed after KPS Gill's defiant 15-year tenure as the IHF boss came to an unceremonious end with the IOA Monday sacking him by suspending the IHF and appointing an ad-hoc committee in its place.
The "unanimous" decision to suspend IHF was taken following the sting operation which caught secretary K Jothikumaran purportedly accepting bribe to select a player in the national team.
About his plans to uplift the morale of players, Khan replied their morale would automatically be high after the end of Gill regime. "Now they will not have any insecurities. Otherwise, they never knew who is going to be the next target of Gill Saab, who ruined the career of several talented players," said the former Olympian.
Khan also said efforts would be made to revive the sport in its old strongholds like Sansarpur, Jalandhar, Bhopal, Lucknow and Chennai. "We don't have any competition with cricket. We will try to popularise hockey through better performance at international level. It's also necessary to host international tournaments," he said when asked that is he going to adopt the BCCI way to promote hockey.
He also indicated that Indian hockey team will now play less international events overseas. "It is not necessary to play each and every tournament. It hurts when we lose. We will now select tournaments and prepare for that accordingly," said Khan.