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Indian hockey doesn't need foreign coaches: Balbir Singh Sr

July 13, 2008 20:05 IST

Irked by the hullabaloo over Ric Charlesworth's out-of-the-blue resignation from the Technical Advisor's post, Olympian Balbir Singh Sr on Sunday said India does not need foreign coaches at all to revive hockey's past glory in the country.

The hockey legend said he had nothing against the Australian but it was baffling to see a controversy brewing after his hasty resignation.

"I respect Charlesworth and I know he is a competent and an intelligent person, but I fail to understand why a controversy should erupt if he decides to go," said 84-year-old Balbir Sr, the first hockey player to win the Padma Shree award.

According to him, bringing in coaches from abroad is simply not the way to revive the game's sagging fortune in the country.

"Foreign coaches are like baby sitters. Communication with players has always been a problem with them and cultural differences too haven't helped our cause," he said.

Though Charlesworth is reportedly interested in a more hands-on assignment than an advisory post, Balbir Sr said those who run the game should not give it a second thought and appoint an Indian.

"Outsiders should not dictate terms to us," he said.

Hockey team felicitated in Delhi

The hockey great rued the game's dwindling popularity and said those in charge of running the game should get their priority right.

"If we have to restore lost glory of our hockey, we have to first streamline our own system. So many things need to be done in that direction. Hockey in our schools and colleges is virtually dead and see what is the state of our national championships. From where can we hope to scout talent in future?" he questioned.

He advocated creating a pool for different state teams and hoped Sports Minister MS Gill's zeal to revive the game would bear fruit.

"We are lagging far behind. I must commend our Union Sports Minister M S Gill who is keen that our hockey team should be world beaters. I would request him to spare more funds for the game so that we can have state-of-the-art facilities like you have in Germany [Images], Holland and Australia," he said.

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