Indian hockey doesn't need a foreign coach: Khullar

Updated: 04 February 2009 11:26 IST

Former hockey player Balbir Singh Khullar feels the Indian team does not need a foreign coach as there are enough home grown greats to guide the side.

Indian hockey doesn't need a foreign coach: Khullar

New Delhi:

Two-time Olympian and this year's Padmashree award-winning former hockey player Balbir Singh Khullar feels the Indian team does not need a foreign coach as there are enough home grown greats to guide the side.

"Our country has enough former Olympians and I don't think we need a foreigner. Hockey administrators should give our former players a chance," the two-time Olympian, who was part of the 1964 Tokyo Games' gold medal winning team, said.

"The current coach-in-charge Harendra Singh is doing a good job," he added.

Khullar attributed the current slump in Indian hockey to grwoing European influence on the playing style. "These days, Indian hockey is following the European style of hit and run which is different from the traditional Asian style of play," Khullar said.

"If India and Pakistan abandon their own style of play then we would have no identity of our own. We should not forget that we won eight Olympic gold medals by playing in the Asian style.

"Our coach Dhyanchand taught us to play upfront and never to pass backwards. He taught us not to lose control of the ball inside the D as it builds pressure on the opposition," he added.

Khullar also rejected former Indian cricket captain Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi's suggestion that hockey should be replaced by cricket as the country's new national sport. "Cricket has the money and popularity but it still does not have eight World Cups to match hockey's Olympic golds. Indian hockey has a rich past and we should be proud of it," he said.

Topics : Hockey
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