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Other View: Is Kaushik hiring Loss or Win for all (7/30/2013)
--Shashank Gupta
Other View: Is Kaushik hiring Loss or Win for all?

MK Kaushik is back in the reckoning, having been assigned to Indian men’s team, which I feel is a 180-degree-round-about-turn at a juncture when Hockey India should have been showing the country the path forward.

Very interestingly, the way whole picture is presented, sounds like a win-win situation for all.

However, the unfortunate portion is the more you get into the details the more it looks like a loss situation for Hockey in India, not Hockey India surely.

Kaushik guided Indian Men to gold at the 1998 Asian Games; was sacked immediately after, and then entered the women’s arena as chief coach. This ensured many commendable victories for the ladies. By and large, his presence brought our national women’s team from nowhere to somewhere.

Then came the sexual harassment case details of which are out of context now.

See it from MK Kaushik's point of view:

All these years, the coach was never paid even a single penny by any of the federations. His contract term was also never defined.

Now he is back. No contracts, no money, and recruitment just the way, as it was the case before. The writing on the wall is clear -- it's anyone guess he is vulnerable to be fired.

Kaushik however is a self motivated individual, is not bothered about the down side of the whole affair.

Some say Kaushik is a man of mettle and he has taken reigns at the time when World Cup entry is loosely hanging with the thin thread of a straight victory of Asia Cup in a month from now. He is out there to prove it. Fair enough.

Realistically speaking, Kaushik has been away from competitive international hockey for almost 4 years from now. Therefore, the task cut out for him is unrealistic. The previous coaches have hugely emphasized on fitness, which has earned the Indian team accolades from various quarters. But sadly, when India was catching up with their fitness, the other countries sprinted forward in terms of experience and skill.

So, Kaushik's chances of hitting the jackpot chances -- nothing less than a victory in Asia Cup -- are anybody’s conjecture.

As every other Hockey sportsperson in India does, he has handed over his illustrious coaching career in the hands of administrators -- to ruin it ? -- possibly for the one last time: less than gold in a high-profile tournament for which the country may not never forgive him. Hope he is not made Joaquim Carvalho of next World Cup.

Unfortunately, MK Kaushik need to prove his potential to the whole world yet again and in the pursuit of recovering his lost pride back, is on the look-out to replicate of feat of Kabir Khan of Chak De India. One can only hope that he is able to pull-off a magical victory even though the circumstances suggest otherwise.

See it from Hockey India's point of view:

Put someone on whose name no one has any objection! How can we hit the jackpot? Let's pull out all the names from the national coaching arena and present the 'best deal' (not the 'best coach') to Indian Men's Hockey. Hockey fraternity will be happy, we don't care about the public anyway.

Harendra Singh, V Bhaskaran, Rajinder Singh, Joaquim Carvalho -- oops he is from rival group -- and then who else? Ahh, no one from the last 15-odd years can evoke a positive response. So, let it be MK Kaushik. His name can't be disputed by the oldies, for sure. vThe other names doing the rounds are either too difficult to handle for Hockey India or their names can't be sold to the ever-noisy bunch of former Hockey Olympians.

Jude Felix is too difficult to handle because of his consistent money and contract demands. Apart from his huge popularity amongst his fans, Dhanraj Pillay has little respect amongst the Hockey coaching fraternity.

And what about Clarence Lobo and Mohammad Riaz, they have been fired anyway.

So, it will be Kaushik.

See it from Hockey fraternity's point of view:

Yes, yes, Kaushik is the right choice. He is humble, easy to get along with, has been open to new ideas and the intervention of foreign coaches, etc. and each one of us have good personal relations with him. His achievements of the past surely make his right candidate for the post.

See it from a fan's perspective:

Yes, Nobbs firing was correct. He couldn't have taken us to the World Cup anyway. This guy Kaushik is a good one, and even though not many have witnessed much of his achievements, they say he has produced good results whenever he was there. There is hope for hockey now.

So, here we are. Hiring Kaushik is a decision to placate everyone and keep the hopes alive with a 'presentable rational'. I feel there is little logic in this decision.

Ironically, a Bharat Ratna recommendation for Dhyan Chand doesn't do much to the cause of hockey, except giving a falsehood that hockey is still alive in this country and so does the entry of MK Kaushik, a hope (without rational) that may be just this time we will avoid another Chile-sort-of-disaster in the offing and qualify for the World Cup '14.

Then when the Hockey fraternity, the administrators and the fans are all happy, why worry about the technicalities pertaining to recruitment of Maharaj Krison Kaushik as the coach?

So, be it. Amen!

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