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HI rules out foreign coach for hockey team

india Updated: Apr 19, 2011 20:12 IST

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Hockey India on Tuesday ruled out the prospect of a foreigner being appointed as the full-time coach of the national team and said an "Indian national" will be at the helm of affairs.

Harendra Singh will accompany the Indian team as national coach to Malaysia for May 5-15 Azlan Shah hockey tournament and a full-time coach is expected to be announced after that for crucial tournaments ahead like the Champions Trophy and 2012 Olympic qualifiers.

HI Executive Director Anupam Gulati said an Indian will be made coach after the government's clearance.

"We have made a request (to the government), there had been deliberations. But we will have an Indian national," Gulati told reporters at the press conference to announce the Indian team for the Azlan Shah tournament.

Gulati said sports medicine expert PSN Chandran has been roped in as team doctor recently but HI is yet to decide whether he will accompany the team to Malaysia.

He said HI had wanted to appoint VK Naik as team doctor but his department (Indian Military Academy, Dehra Dun) did not give him clearance.

"Naik was on deputation with HI. He has not been released by his department. But we are still trying to make Naik as team doctor. We have roped in PSN Chandran for now and he has joined. But we are yet to take a call whether he will travel with the team to Malaysia as team doctor," said Gulati.

Gulati said India will play a four-nation tournament in Australia in October before the Champions Trophy here from December 3-11.

"After the Azlan Shah tournament, we will play in the Asian Champions Trophy in China in September and then play in a four-nation event in Australia in October. The team will be in Perth for 20 days for the tournament which will also have Pakistan and New Zealand," he said.

India will play the 2012 Olympic qualifiers in New Delhi from February 15-26.