Red tape sees hockey coach exit Olympic camp
The men have already crashed out ingloriously, and even as this is being written, the ongoing Indian women’s hockey camp in Lucknow for next month’s Olympic qualifiers is in trouble.
They are now officially without a coach.
In what is a perfect example of a ham-handed bureaucracy and a typically Indian systemic failure, chief national coach MK Kaushik has been forced to leave the camp and report back to his employers, the Haryana Sports Department.
Why? Because they sanctioned his leave only for a month and that month is up on Thursday. Kaushik, obviously worried about his long-term job, told HT as much.
“The Haryana Sports Department has granted me leave till March 20. I will only rejoin the camp if further leave is sanctioned,” he said.
Interestingly, the Indian Women Hockey Federation (IWHF) knew Kaushik had only been granted a month’s leave but had not asked the department to grant him an extended leave of absence.
“We have not received any communication from IWHF or from Kaushik to further sanction his leave. If they approach us, we will definitely extend his leave,” Sudhir Mohan, director of sports with the Haryana Sports Department, told HT.
But even this sounds silly.
After all, Kaushik is the national coach and this is the second time ever that the Indian women have made it to the Olympic qualifiers.
It’s a pretty unfortunate state of affairs from a state that has given India 10 of the 22 women in the national squad.