On this Saturday morning, I suddenly remembered that India was playing Malaysia in the Asia Cup. I did not remember the date of the match. It has taken place yesterday in Malaysia. It was the semi-finals of the Asia Cup and India had beaten Malaysia 2-0. So far, so good. On an impulse, I clicked on this link from NDTV Sports. It was an update on the match as it progressed.
These lines caught my eye:
20:45 (IST) So goals from Raghunath and Mandeep help India beat Malaysia 2-0 and book a final against Korea on Sunday. With this win India also secure a spot in the FIH World Cup in 2014 in The Hague. Winning the Asia Cup is inconsequential now for India.
How can winning a tournament be less consequential than just qualifying for another tournament a year later? If you lose the finals, what is the message that India is sending to other contestants in the World Cup in 2014? Isn’t it very likely that they think that India qualified luckily or that India would not pose a consistent threat? How does this elementary logic escape us?