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Kaushik replaces Nobbs, will assist Oltmans

July 10, 2013 16:03 IST

Maharaj Krishan Kaushik was appointed coach of the senior men's hockey team on Wednesday, just two days after chief coach Michael Nobbs was shown the door because of non-performance.

A member of India's last of the eight Olympic gold medals-winning side in the 1980 Moscow Games, he will assist High Performance director Roelant Oltmans, who will double up as a chief coach till a suitable replacement for Nobbs is found.

Kaushik's appointment comes barely 48 hours after the Australian was prematurely relieved of his duties by the Sports Authority of India.

Nobbs, however, insisted he was not pushed out and quit on his own terms because of deteriorating health.

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

M K KaushikKaushik's first assignment with the men's team will be the ninth Asia Cup, in Ipoh, Malaysia, from August 24 to September 1.

India must win the tournament to qualify for next year's World Cup in Hague, the Netherlands.

Reacting to his appointment, Kaushik said: "I am very happy. It's an honour for any player to coach his country. I have the experience of working with different people from 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."

Kaushik, however, said pressure will be high on the team in the upcoming eight-nation Asia Cup.

"In Rotterdam the pressure was less, but in the Asia Cup the pressure on the Indian team will be immense and we will have to perform under pressure," Kaushik said.

Welcoming his appointment, Hockey India secretary-general Narinder Batra said: "Mr Kaushik had the desired credentials to work with the senior men's team. I am hopeful that with his contribution the team will make improvement in the coming days and wish the team good luck to win the ninth Asia Cup."

It may be recalled that it was the same set of office-bearers of Hockey India who removed Kaushik as coach of the senior women's team following allegations of sexual harassment by some members of the side. He was subsequently absolved of the charges following an enquiry by the Sports Ministry.

Kaushik, who retired as Deputy Director of Sports, Government of Haryana, had earlier coached both the senior men's as well as women's teams.

Under his coaching, the India men's team won its last major international tournament, a gold in the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok.

An Arjuna awardee in 1998, Kaushik also guided the Indian women’s team to a bronze medal at the Doha Asian Games in 2006.