India's foreign coach Michael Nobbs might be against the participation of national players in the lucrative World Series Hockey league, but some former players-turned-coaches feel that the event comes as a blessing in disguise for the struggling national sport.
With little over three months left for the Olympic qualifiers, Indian hockey's Australian coach Nobbs has shot off a letter to Hockey India, stating his fears over disintegration of the national camp because of the lucrative WSH tournament, beginning December 15.
Nobbs feels the private tournament, jointly organised by rival Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) and Nimbus Sport, could jeopardise his team's preparation for the Olympic qualifiers, a theory which former Indian players and coaches refuse to buy.
Former coach and captain of India's 1980 Moscow Olympics gold-winning side, Vasudevan Bhaskaran, was of the view that the WSH will help the national selectors in identifying and spotting new talents ahead of the crucial Olympic qualifier.
"This league will benefit the players in the long run, it will provide a platform for the Indian players to compete against foreign talent on their own turf. Whereas, the training camp will only facilitate the players to play against themselves and as a result stick to monotonous hockey," he said.
"It will also provide the selectors an opportunity to recruit the upcoming stars from this league."
Another former India coach, Harendra Singh, said that WSH will provide little known Indian players once in a life time opportunity to share the dressing room with the big names of world hockey.