In an embarrassing turnabout for the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (OC) and the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI), Graeme Hudson is back.
Hudson — the New Zealand-based shooting expert in-charge of overseeing preparations for the Commonwealth Games — was forced to make an unceremonious exit due to relentless pressure from the NRAI and the OC, the powers-that-be have been made to eat humble pie.
The Sports Ministry and Sports Authority of India (SAI), perhaps unsure of the abilities of the two bodies to complete the Dr Karni Singh Ranges on time as per international specifications, have sought the technical expert’s help three months after he was forced to put in his papers in frustration.
“Yes, SAI and the ministry have approached me and I am coming back to New Delhi next week,” Hudson told Hindustan Times from Auckland.
“I will be part of the team which will oversee preparations for the Commonwealth Championships (from February 17). I don’t know what my designation will be, but we have to finish the work on time. The ranges need to be certified. I have decided to stay back for a while to streamline the work,” Hudson, who is an executive committee member of the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) and president of the Commonwealth Shooting Federation (CSF), said.
Hudson’s stay was vehemently opposed by the NRAI, who thought he was intruding into their domain as they had the technical know-how to organise major events like the Commonwealth Championships and Commonwealth Games.
Things became so difficult for the Kiwi that he had quit in a huff.
The OC in a statement on October 15 last year had said, “We express strong resentment at the manner in which the shooting expert Hudson has been behaving. We cannot tolerate such misdemeanour.”
But Hudson said, he had no ill feeling. “Yes, circumstances were made difficult for me. But, finally, it was my call to go back.”
Asked if he had been given an undertaking that there would be no opposition to his stay this time, Hudson said, “There is no undertaking but as president of the CSF, I expect full respect.
“I will again come in April (for the Commonwealth Big-bore Championships, which cannot be held alongside the Commonwealth Championships because of delay in completion of the range in Kadarpur) for a while and then again to oversee preparation for the Commonwealth Games in October.”