Peeved at the treatment meted out to him by the Badminton Association of India (BAI), India's Indonesian doubles coach, Hadi Sugiyanto, has gone back to his country. And what is more intriguing is that he did not bother to inform anyone in the BAI of his plan to return.
As recently as Monday, when this correspondent asked BAI secretary LC Gupta why he did not bother to inform Hadi about the ongoing national coaching camp in Hyderabad, the secretary said he was going to inform him later that evening. Little did he know that the temperamental Indonesian had left the country for good the previous evening.
Though Hadi's contract was supposed to end on December 2006, he was left with no option but to head back following a spate of differences with the national body. And some of his grouses at least, seemed valid but expected in a body that has been in the news for all the wrong reasons at the moment.
Hadi, who was being paid $2000 per month, was unhappy at not being utilised properly by the BAI. Based at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) South Centre in Kengiri, Hadi had a litany of grievances against the BAI.
In fact, in January this year, he voiced some of his grievances to HT. "Right now I am not enjoying my stint here (in India). I hardly get a chance to interact with the senior players. My interaction with them is confined to the coaching camps. And these camps are held only thrice a year. The rest of the time I am confined to doing virtually nothing. And the thought of doing nothing just kills me," he said bitterly.
There was also a growing rift between him and the BAI brass. In fact, during the Thomas and Uber Cups in Jaipur earlier this year, a BAI official accused him of not being serious and even questioned his credentials as coach. "I wonder what he (Hadi) is here for. Our doubles standards (no pun intended) have not improved one bit, so why do we have him," he is reported to have asked.
Moreover, it is an open secret that Hadi, who came under the reign of former chief coach Vimal Kumar, was going to find the going tough under new coach Pullela Gopi Chand. Though Gopi Chand never openly voiced criticism of the Indonesian, their relationship was not exactly cordial.
Meanwhile, despite no one officially knowing of Hadi's departure or the fact that he was unhappy, it is learnt that Gopi Chand, who is off to Manila on Thursday as the non-playing captain of the Asian team in the Asia vs Europe team championships there, is expected to begin negotiations to bring a Chinese or Indonesian doubles coach here. What exactly is happening in the BAI?