In what could be seen as an additon to the "Hall of Shame" of India's national game, hockey, the champions of the inaugural Asian Champions Trophy refused the cash prize offered by Hockey India.
Calling for a fair treatment, the team refused outright to accept the cash prize of Rs. 25,000 offered by Hockey India Secretary General Narinder Batra at a felicitation function held at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium.
"We were offered Rs. 25,000 each by HI Secretary General Narinder Batra as reward for winning the Asian Champions Trophy but we all refused to take it because it is a very small reward considering our achievement," senior player Gurbaz Singh said.
India's team beat its archrival Pakistan in the final of the inaugural Asian Champions Trophy in Ordos, China, on Sunday. Expressing disappointment over the Sports Department's helplessness in reviving the national game, the team termed the sports minister's word to revive the game as "hollow".
"Their feat of beating archrivals Pakistan in the finals of the prestigious event was not rewarded well and the team was disappointed by the hollow claims of the sports minister to revive the national sport in the country," said captain Rajpal Singh.
"The sports minster did not come true to our expectations. The money should be better not just for the motivation of the current crop of players but for the future generations who like to take up the national sport," he added.
The skipper also added that the Sports Federation can take a leaf out of BCCI's working and awarding of the players to motivate them for better results.
India beaten Pakistan 4-2 in the Asian Champions Trophy finals on Sunday in Ordos, China.