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Now, an aussie to boost Indian hockey (10/14/2007)
--Sukwant Basra & Joe Williams
Courtesy: DNA
Legendary star Ric Charlesworth to get $150,000 to develop national teams

MUMBAI: Indian hockey may yet have its Chak De moment. The government seems to have woken up to the need to revive the national sport. It has decided to fork out $90,000 per annum to hire Australian hockey star Ric Charlesworth, who will get an additional amount of $60,000 from the International Hockey Federation which is concerned about the declining popularity and standards of the game in the sub-continent.

Ric Charlesworth, who coached the Australian women’s side to two Olympic hockey titles, will oversee the development of the men’s, women’s and junior teams in preparation for the 2010 Commonwealth Games. He will provide the framework for training these teams with assistance from Indian coaches.

The final modalities of the contract are being worked out, but Charlesworth is expected to come on board by the end of the year.

What is significant is that until now the government has had a ceiling of $2,500 to pay foreign experts involved with Indian teams. Charlesworth is slated to earn close to the $175,000 that cricket coach John Wright got, but is still a far cry from the $225,000 plus that Greg Chappell commanded.

The initiative for bringing Charlesworth came from the Promoting Indian Hockey project launched by the International Hockey Federation, whose Dutch consultant Bob Davidzon met the Indian Hockey Federation president KPS Gill recently to overcome his reservations on involving a foreign coach.

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