Tom Boon says he's surprised by India's show in CT

Belgian sharp shooter Tom Boon, bought by Dabang Mumbai for a highly lucrative USD 103,000 to play in the upcoming Hockey India League (HIL), on Monday said that he was impressed with the performance of Sardar Singh-led national team in the just-concluded Champions Trophy.

PTI| Updated: Dec 15, 2014, 20:19 PM IST
Tom Boon says he's surprised by India's show in CT

Mumbai: Belgian sharp shooter Tom Boon, bought by Dabang Mumbai for a highly lucrative USD 103,000 to play in the upcoming Hockey India League (HIL), on Monday said that he was impressed with the performance of Sardar Singh-led national team in the just-concluded Champions Trophy.

"They were really good. We were surprised by the way they were playing for 60 minutes. This is the first time I have seen India playing that well," said the 24-year-old after unveiling his HIL club's jersey with team mentor and advisor Viren Rasquinha at the Mahindra Stadium here on Monday.

India rallied to defeat Belgium 4-2 to enter the semi-finals of the prestigious hockey tournament, where they lost to arch-rivals Pakistan.

The inevitable question was asked about the boorish acts of the Pakistani players after their semi-final victory over the host nation and Boon said he had never seen such a bad behaviour before in a hockey match.

"I thought it was bad. I don't think it can happen in the heat of the moment. This is the first time I have seen such a thing in hockey. All I can say is when players put on their national jersey they represent their country. We always want to be at our best when representing the country," he said.

Two Pakistan players -- Amjad Ali and Mohammed Tausiq -- were found guilty of making obscene gestures towards the crowd and suspended from playing the final against Germany by the world body FIH, while a third player -- Shafqat Rasool -- also pleaded guilty and was let off with a reprimand.

Asked about the new format of four quarters in international hockey, the Belgian forward said it was quite useful while playing in hot conditions as was the case during the Champions Trophy in Bhubaneswar.

"I think it was really hot out there. It (new format) was not too bad. We were not losing a lot of time as I thought earlier (with stoppages after scoring of goals). When it is hot it's a good idea but am not sure how it works in the normal game," he said.

Boon said he never imagined he would fetch a huge price at the HIL auction.

"It was a shock. I did not expect such an amount. I am happy and proud to wear the jersey of Dabang Mumbai," he said.