India name Kaushik as new hockey coach

NEW DELHI: Olympian Maharaj Krishan Kaushik was on Wednesday appointed as a coach of the senior men’s hockey team, just two days after chief coach Michael Nobbs was shown the door because of non-performance.

Kaushik, a member of India’s last of the eight Olympic gold medal winning side in 1980 Moscow Games, will assist high performance director, Roelant Oltmans, who will now double up as a chief coach till a suitable replacement for Nobbs is found.

Kaushik’s appointment comes barely 48 hours after Australian Nobbs was prematurely relieved of his duties by Sports Authority of India for failing to produce the desired results.

However, Nobbs had insisted he was not pushed out and that he quit the job on his own terms because of his deteriorating health condition.

Kaushik will join the national camp at the SAI Centre in Bangalore starting July 16.

Kaushik’s first assignment with the men’s team will be the ninth Asia Cup to be held in Ipoh, Malaysia from August 24 to September 1, which India need to win to qualify for next year’s World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands.

Reacting to his appointment, Kaushik said: “I am very happy. It’s an honour for any player to coach his country, I have experience of working with different peoplefrom the coaching fraternity and will give my best.”

“I will now sit down with the entire team management and find out solutions which can help India qualify for next year’s World Cup,” he said.