Thursday, October 8, 2009

Indian Rope Trick in Hobart 2001

I had the misfortune of watching India beat Argentina 6-1 in the 2001 Junior World Cup finals in Hobart, Australia.
Together with me in Hobart were Malay Mail journalist Johnson Fernandez, Berita Harian journalist V. Ashok and Star journalist S. Ramaguru.
Ironically, there was not a single reporter from India covering the tournament in Hobart, while Malaysia had four journalists. India gold, and Malaysia 12th.
Here is what the India press wrote ...

(Hobart (Australia), October 21
Propelled by a brilliant hat-trick by Deepak Thakur (pic), India’s ‘glory boys’ destroyed Argentina 6-1 to take home the junior World Cup for the first time in the country’s hockey history.

But in reality, the Indian glory boys were actually men, some looked like they were 24-years-old, and one actually wore the number 34 on his jersey.
Naturally, the Argentine boys never had a chance in the final.
Everybody new about it, the FIH, Indian hockey officials, Asian Hockey Federation and even the janitor at the stadium who lamented 'big boys in Indeeea'.
Finally, India have started to x-ray their players, a little too late to undo the damage to their reputation.
There were also two players in the 2001 squad who warmed the bench and never played at all. When asked why bring them for the world cup, an official replied: "They are children of our sponsors."
Selection is biased, which is another well known fact, and that is what India need to rectify next to make their team stronger. Select on merit, not money...

Wikepedia: The Indian rope trick is stage magic said to have been performed in and around India about the 1800s. Sometimes described as "the world’s greatest illusion", it involved a magician, a length of rope, and one or more boy assistants.