The overwhelming presence of three-time Olympian and former Indian captain Dilip Tirkey in the Hockey India electoral fray was perhaps felt all around. The fact that two other candidates for Hockey India President Post – Bhola Nath Singh, the Hockey Jharkhand President and UP Hockey President Rakesh Katyal opted out of the race did not come as a surprise. Even if both Bhola Nath Singh and Rakesh Katyal had contested against India’s 2004 Athens Olympics captain, there would have struggled to give him a run for his money not because they were not good enough but because the suave Odisha strongman has much better credentials to drive Indian hockey forward. Of course, it is heartening to note that both these gentlemen choose to move aside in the larger interest of Indian hockey and not be a hindrance in any manner.
Interestingly, the Hockey India elections were slated to be held on October 1 but because Dilip Tirkey emerged as a winning candidate uncontested, the Committee of Administrators (CoA) declared him as the new Hockey India President – in fact, he is the first international player to take charge of the hockey federation.
Former Indian captain Ram Prakash Singh more famously known as RP Singh, who is the Uttar Pradesh Hockey secretary, reasoned why Uttar Pradesh Hockey President are throwing their weight behind Dilip Tirkey. “I think Dilip Tirkey is the best man for the President job. It’s not often that players get opportunities to serve in national federations and he will take Indian hockey forward, the former stylist right-winger says in a candid manner to Hockey Passion.
Hockey Jharkhand President Bhola Nath Singh was elected Hockey India Secretary-General uncontested – like the Hockey India President Post there were two candidates in the fray – Hockey Maharashtra Vice President Manoj Bhore and Delhi Hockey President Hitesh Sindwani. Manoj Bhore pulled out his candidature first and subsequently Hitesh Sindwani is believed to have followed suit.
Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu President Sekar J Manoharan, also got elected as Hockey India Treasurer unopposed. The competitive quotient was clearly missing from the Hockey India elections as candidates elected uncontested ruled the roost. One hopes that Hockey India under Dilip Tirkey would work towards writing a new chapter for the sport in the country. More importantly, one hopes there is greater transparency and accountability with the former Olympian at the helm.