The Indian women's hockey team is set to return to the city where it went through its biggest crisis last year. The team will return to the Central Regional Centre of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) here for a preparatory camp early next month, nearly a year after its members sent a petition to the sports ministry levelling allegations of sexual harassment against the then coach, MK Kaushik.
The team had left the city for the Asian Champions Trophy in Busan in July 2010 and did not return.
The controversy eventually led to the sacking of Kaushik, who was recently cleared of the charges by a committee constituted by the ministry.
Ironically, the team will return to Bhopal to prepare for the same event - the Asian Champions Trophy.
The decision to award the camp to SAI Centre, Bhopal was taken recently by the steering committee constituted by the ministry to monitor preparations for next year's London Olympics.
Although the committee was in favour of allotting the men's camp to Bhopal, the regional director, RK Naidu, preferred to host the women keeping in view the facilities at his disposal.
Naidu said he preferred to host the women's team going by previous experience.
"The steering committee wanted us to host the men's team but I preferred the women's team as we don't have some facilities considered necessary for proper training of the men's team."
Anupam Gulati, executive director Hockey India (HI) who is in the city for the national championship, told HT on Thursday that as many as 48 players will be called for the camp.
"They will train here for five weeks before leaving for the event in China," he said.