Baskaran appointed new hockey coach

Updated: 25 February 2007 10:39 IST

The Indian Hockey Federation has sacked incumbent Rajinder Singh Junior and replaced him with V Baskaran as the new men's hockey team coach.

Baskaran appointed new hockey coach

New Delhi:

The Indian hockey squad for the four-nations cup in Germany was selected on Monday. The team leaves with new coach Vasudevan Baskaran who replaces Rajinder Singh Junior. And making a comeback in the team is drag-flicker Jugraj Singh, who returns to the national side after three long years. This is Baskaran's third stint in charge of the men's team. He held the post previously in 1998 and 2000, when he also took the team to the Sydney Olympics. Baskaran, who captained India to its last Olympic Gold in 1980, will be assisted by Deputy Coach Harendra Singh. The accession of both these men came entirely along expected lines. The mediocre performance of the men's team under Rajinder Singh Jr during his year-long stint meant the axe had to fall on the former Olympian. In fact, IHF President KPS Gill had said that Rajinder himself had wanted out. Rajinder is now the 13th coach to be sacked since Gill took over in 1994. Jugraj back in team Meanwhile, in a more unexpected development, drag-flicker Jugraj Singh has made a comeback to the national side for the first time since a bad road accident in September 2003. The Chandigarh Dynamos player's last major tournament was the Champions Trophy that year. Jugraj's absence has ironically allowed his brother Sandeep to cement his place in the side as the specialist drag-flicker. The rest of the team for the four-nations tournament in Germany will also have Argentina and Spain besides India. Gagan Ajit Singh will captain the side. The striker had lost the top job and his place in the side after India's poor performance in the Champions Trophy in Chennai in December. Among the other notable omissions from the squad that performed miserably in the Commonwealth Games are midfielder Viren Rasquinha, defender Harpal Singh and forward Didar Singh.

Topics : Hockey
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