The Premier Hockey League may be the flavour of the season right now, but things are not all hunky-dory in the sport. India's first international assignment after the Doha Asian Games will be the Indo-Pak bilateral series, but nothing has been decided so far, including the coach.
Just weeks before the Doha Games, IHF president KPS Gill had confirmed that the federation was in serious talks with German coach Paul Lissek, putting a question mark over the fate of current coach Vasudevan Baskaran.
The latest development in the whole issue is that Lissek is not coming to India. "It was just an idea but we did not pursue it. There is nothing of that sort planned now," Gill said on Friday. He added that the Indo-Pak series would see no change in the team management, clearing the way for Baskaran to remain in charge.
Interestingly, federation secretary K Jothikumaran is not so sure. "We have not decided anything as yet. We are looking at all options," he said. He also said that the teams currently playing in the PHL were also being watched, including the coaches. Which again puts a question mark over Baskaran's fate.
Also, the dates for the series are yet to be finalised, as are the venues. The fact that the president and secretary of the federation are not sure of the exact status of the team management speaks volumes about the seriousness in a year that is critical for the preparation for Olympic qualifiers in early 2008.