Kolkata: Nagging injuries and failure to become a regular member of the Indian team may just bring the curtain down on another former captain, Ignace Tirkey, who is mulling retirement.
The Athens Olympian, who led India in a few matches before injury cut short his stint in the 2006 edition of the Commonwealth Games, told reporters that if he does not get fit by the CWG meet to be held in New Delhi from October 3-14, he would take a call on his career.
“Two very important meets have been lined up this year. If I cannot make the team for the CWG and the Asian Games later, then I might as well call it quits as Dilip bhai (Dilip Tirkey),” a dejected Tirkey, recovering from knee and ankle injuries, said.
Employed by the Madras Engineering Group (MEG) based in Bangalore, Tirkey said he is undergoing a strict fitness training and trying his best to be fit.
“It’s very difficult to make a comeback after injuries. Chances are slim but I am not giving up,” he said.
His statemate from Orissa, Dilip Tirkey recently gave up as he could not recover from injuries which ended his glorious career spanning 400-plus international outings.
Another Orissa player William Xalxo, a former promising India defender, now has gone into oblivion after giving up on his career following injury, a case that put question mark on the system and whether the promising players were taken care of and rehabilitated properly.
“Xalxo had a knee injury and stopped playing. He now plays for his employers (Bharat Petroleum) in Bhubaneswar,” Tirkey said.
Asked about the injury concerns, he said: “Players from Orissa have more than 100 per cent commitment. Even after sustaining an injury, they keep on playing for their country ... This had happened with me.”
Recalling his injury in 2006, he said, “I had a knee injury which I thought was a niggle and went on to lead India in the CWG in Melbourne where the injury aggravated.”
“Last year after the European tour we had a camp in Pune, I sustained the ankle injury there. I am now struggling to get fit and training personally at the MEG in Bangalore.”
He further said Orissa have very good talented youngsters like Roshan Minz and Bikas Toppo (both forwards) but they have been overlooked by selectors.
“We do not have any backing so the talented players are ignored or not nurtured properly,” he said.