Hockey India (HI) has begun looking for a replacement for embattled women's hockey coach Maharaj Kishan Kaushik whose resignation was accepted by its president, Vidya Stokes, on Thursday.
According to media reports, former India goalkeeper and Chak De... fame, Mir Ranjan Negi is leading the list of possible contenders even though HI officials dismissed having approached Negi.
"We have a panel of five to six candidates and are currently going through the selection process. I don't know from where Negi's name has come up. I can tell you his name is not among those we are considering. We will announce a new coach in the next 4-5 days," said Narinder Batra, secretary-general, Hockey India.
Negi though confirmed his interest in the job. In a telephonic conversation with HT, he said that his bio-data was with HI officials and that he would accept HI's offer to coach the team if approached. "It is a very critical time for women's hockey. The pressure is enormous, nothing like I have ever seen. However, I am confident that I can fit into the role even though this is the worst crisis ever," he said.
Negi of Chak de India fame, expressed his dismay at the charges levelled against Kaushik. "It is sad for the game but the truth will only come to light once the investigative reports are out," he said. Both Kaushik and the complainer Th Ranjita submitted their explanations before a four member investigative committee headed by Rajiv Mehta. "We will study the explanations given by both the parties and reach a conclusion soon," he said.
Sources have revealed that HI will go for a total overhaul of the team set-up as the players have expressed lack of confidence in assistant coach Vasu Thapliyal and manager Madhu Yadav also.