Like their compatriots in cricket, Indian hockey stars too are falling in love with 140 characters.
Twitter has become the new rage among the young international stars wielding the willow with a curve and many of them joined the bandwagon, connecting to family, friends and fans from the Asia Cup in Malaysia, where the team won a silver medal.
Limited until now only to Facebook, the hockey players had either ignored the microblogging site or put their twitter handles on the backburner. Unlike the demi-gods of Indian cricket, who have become a rage on twitter, latest example being 'Sir' Ravindra Jadeja, hockey players remained in their shell until the ice was broken recently.
A screenshot from the twitter profile of India defender Rupinderpal Singh.
While Rupinderpal Singh has been a fresh entry to twitter, other stars like VR Raghunath and PR Sreejesh decided to use the opportunity to connect with their fans more actively beginning with the week-long Asia Cup in the city of Ipoh.
Young Manpreet Singh, who will captain the junior India team at the Sultan of Johar Cup in Malaysia and probably at the junior World Cup as well, is a relatively more experienced microblogger, having been tweeting for some time now. So is Yuvraj Walmiki, another young striker who is not in the national squad currently but is always in the mix.
The sudden influx of Indian hockey players on twitter has coincided with the appointment of goalkeeping coach Dave Staniforth who is a fairly active tweeter, along with the interim chief coach of the team Roelant Oltmans. Watching their mentors tweeting could have acted as the positive trigger bringing the players to twitter.
In days when Indian hockey is fighting for recognition and lacking support due to lack of belief, this should be considered as a welcome move that will bring the players closer to who they play for - the country and their fans.
Here's a list of players' twitter handles you can follow:
Rupinderpal Singh: @rupinderbob3
VR Raghunath: @raghuhock
PR Sreejesh: @16Sreejesh
Nithin Thimmaiah: @Nithin19Hockey
Nikin Thimmaiah: @thimmaiah28
Manpreet Singh: @manpreetpawar07
SK Uthappa: @Uthappask
Roelant Oltmans (coach and High Performance Director): @OltmansOltmans
Dave Staniforth (hockey coach): @Davestani