Members of the U-19 Bengal Hockey team have reportedly shaved their heads when their Coach Anand Kumar scolded them for their performance in the match and told the players at half time of their match against Namdhari XI that he would have their heads tonsured if they lost.
The team went on to lose the match 5-1 and the coach said that they were losing by “three or four goals at halftime” according to a reports. One of the players who did not shave his head has been quoted as saying that the coach called him “indisciplined” for refusing to do so. He also said that Kumar had suggested the same after they had won their first match against Gujarat because he felt they “didn’t play well.”
Kumar, however, denies forcing the players into committing the act. “We were losing by three or four goals at halftime against Namdhari XI. I scolded the boys and, in anger, said I will have their heads tonsured,” Kumar said, clarifying, “It was said in frustration. When I came to know some of the players have shaved their heads two days after coming back, I was surprised. I asked them and they said they did it out of repentance (for playing poorly in that match), since I had mentioned it to them.”
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17 November, 2019