first_imgTirkey praises Patnauk initiative to popularize hockeyBhubaneswar, Jun 21 (PTI) Former Indian hockey teamcaptain Dilip Tirkey today appreciated Odisha Chief MinisterNaveen Patnaik’s initiative to officially notify hockey as thenational game of the country.Tirkey’s reaction came a day after Patnaik wrote toPrime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention forissuing a notification to accord national game status tohockey.In his letter to Modi, Patnaik had wondered as to howthere was no official notification declaring hockey as anational game.I appreciate Chief Minister’s work and research whichbring to light that hockey is not yet the national sportofficially. If you check facts, youll realize an RTI filed in2012 had revealed the same. Peoples misconception had thesport taken for granted, when hockey actually brought laurelsto the country in the past,” Tirkey, a former Rajya Sabhamember, said.Tirkey, who too belonged to Patnaik’s BJD, urged thepeople across the country to support Odisha chief minister andpromote hockey in India. “India has got highest Olympic goldmedal in hockey. Therefore, it should be promoted more,” hesaid.He said the state’s hockey players are happy that theOdisha government is sponsoring and promoting the game.”I urge you all to involve yourself in the step takenby CM as hockey needs more recognition, Tirkey added.Tirkey found support from former Indian nationalhockey team player Lazarus Barla, who said: “Like Odisha ChiefMinister, other state CMs should also write to the PrimeMinister and mount pressure to notify hockey as the nationalgame. We appreciate Patnaik’s initiative.”advertisementPatnaik’s letter to the Prime Minister has has alsoreceived widespread support on social media.Patnaik’s letter was posted on his Twitter handlewithin 24 hours. PTI AAMJM JM JMlast_img