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New Zealand Cricket hires hockey expert

August 23, 2005 16:06 IST

Indian hockey's loss is New Zealand cricket's gain.

Ric Charlesworth, once an applicant for the Indian hockey team coach's job, joined New Zealand Cricket as its new high performance manager.

Charlesworth, considered by many as one of the best brains in hockey with a proven track record, has been appointed to the post by the country's cricket Board, NZC chief Martin Snedden announced in a statement on Tuesday.

He played over 200 hockey internationals for Australia over 16 years, from 1972, and later coached the Australian women's hockey team to two Olympic gold medals. He was also named Australian coach of the year six times.

Just two years back, when the Indian Hockey Federation was keen to experiment with a foreign coach for the first time following a series of below par performance at the highest level, the Australian legend had expressed his willingness to take up the post.

He again expressed his desire, before the Lahore Champions Trophy last year, to coach the Indian team, though the Indian Hockey Federation ignored him and appointed Rajinder Singh Jr. as coach.

In his new role, Charlesworth will replace former New Zealand batsman John Reid, who has left NZC after a decade to accept a new role with Sport and Recreation New Zealand (Sparc), the Government's sports funding agency.

"Ric has outstanding experience as a top sportsman, coach and high performance consultant," Snedden was quoted as saying by the New Zealand media.

Though a hockey expert, Charlesworth is no stranger to cricket.

Himself a former cricketer, his cricket credentials included playing 47 first-class matches for Western Australia, from 1972 to 1979.

The position is responsible for overseeing NZC's high performance programmes, which range from elite player and coaching programmes to medical and sports science enhancement initiatives.

Charlesworth, a qualified doctor who was a federal member of parliament in Australia for a 10-year period until 1993, will take up the position on October 12.

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