New Delhi: While the preparations for the Rio Olympics are in full swing for other countries, Hockey India (HI) shocked the fraternity by making a bold move just weeks ahead of the prestigious event.
The board appointed PR Sreejesh, the veteran goalkeeper as the new skipper of the men's hockey team, while Sardar Singh was relieved of his duties.
Sardar would not complain about the move as he hasn't been in the best of form lately and also because he has been embroiled in a controversy where a British hockey player has accused him of sexual and mental harassment.
Had he been the skipper of the team, without an iota of doubt, he would have had to answer plenty of questions regarding the case at the press conferences.
While there are chances that Sreejesh too might be questioned about the change of role just weeks ahead of the biggest sporting extravaganza, the goalkeeper would be under no pressure whatsoever to answer them, as he has not only been in fine form in the last few years, but is also far away from controversies.
The selectors had an idea about the asset Sardar remains for the Indian squad. Had they made their decision based only on his form, Sardar's fate could have been similar to that of Ritu Rani – who was not only sacked as the skipper of the women's hockey team, but also wasn't included in the squad.
As Sreejesh will lead from the front, it will be an excellent opportunity for Sardar to focus totally on his game and form, which hasn't been the best ever since the allegations emerged.
Only time will tell whether this move can help India clinch another title at Rio next month.