Jagraj says Astroturf will change in future and grass-players will be benefited

Jagraj joined East Bengal four years ago and now the team is on the verge of a second consecutive League title.

Jagraj Singh does not want to relish on Tuesday's derby win. The Red-and-Gold brigade salvaged some pride in the Calcutta Premier Division hockey league with a 1-0 victory against arch-rivals Mohun Bagan at Mohammedan Sporting Ground. 

East Bengal’s experienced coach has already started planning for the team’s next two crucial matches against CFC and Calcutta Port Trust on 13th and 16th March, respectively. He said, “Both the teams are tough oppositions and unfortunately we will miss a few of our first eleven players. So, we should be cautious.” 

The 59-year-old hockey coach has inspiring statistics. Under his tutelage, Punjab SC won Calcutta Premier League hockey five times. Still, his contribution was questioned in the club. Jagraj took it as a challenge and guided CC&FC to the Calcutta Premier League title twice. 

Then after taking a sabbatical for a couple of years Jagraj again joined East Bengal four years ago and now the team is on the verge of a second League title. 

The key reason behind Bengal hockey's decline has been termed the lack of a modern Astroturf in the city. Now, after almost four decades Kolkata is going to have two Astroturfs, at the Salt Lake Stadium and Dumurjola, Howrah. 

But Jagraj has new and upcoming information that can be significant for the hockey fraternity across the state and the country. 

That is the world hockey's ruling body is with a new thought of changing Astroturf's character, currently used worldwide. The first reason is the modern Astroturf is causing more injuries to the players, especially damaging muscles. 

The second important factor is the usage of water on the turf to make it soft. Nearly 20 thousand liters of water is used to soften the Astroturf before one match. The Federation of International Hockey (FIH) is reportedly concerned about the excessive wastage of water across the world. 

It is learned that Hockey India also has started thinking over the issue where excessive usage of water to soften the Astroturf can be controlled as well as the players’ injuries be reduced.

Jagraj explained, “Since the 1982 Asian Games, India has installed several Astroturfs. If one match on the Astroturf is needed nearly 20 thousand liters of water then it can be assumed how much water is wasted to make the Astroturf soft.”

Jagraj added, “The new Astroturf should be like grass in character, and on that turf, the players will be freed from frequent injuries and wastage of water can be controlled. I feel the players who are playing on the grass now will have an easy task in playing the new Astroturf when it is introduced.” 

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