A successful narrative
However, since in recent memory, Indian hockey had been in the news for all the wrong reasons—mismanagement, corruption and underperformance at the world stage—the incident merged seamlessly with the sport’s narrative. Which is why, from the vantage point of the National Stadium’s press box, the HIL’s prospects looked decidedly bleak on that cold January evening. It appeared a fairly safe assumption that by the time the controversy would subside, the tournament, too, would’ve slipped out of the public consciousness.
Twenty-seven days and 33 matches later, those assessments—not malicious but premature—had failed spectacularly, as in front of a smitten Ranchi, both the local team and Indian hockey emerged triumphant. In that period, a combination of luck
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