India’s Sports Minister Ajay Maken announced a cash reward of INR150,000 for each player after the country’s hockey team rejected the original amount of INR25,000 for their recent win in the first Asian Champions Trophy.
The team, which had termed the reward too little and an inadequate recognition of their achievement, rejected it at a felicitation function organised by Hockey India. However, their grievance was heard by the minister who announced the increased amount after the national team beat Pakistan on penalty shootouts in the final.
“We refused it because it’s a very small reward,” said a senior player Gurbaz Singh. “We did not expect such a small amount, considering hockey is our national game. If such things continue, there will be a day when there will be very few kids interested. They would rather opt for cricket or any other sport.”
Published in The Express Tribune, September 15th, 2011.
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