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CR Kumar to step into Kaushik's shoes? (8/9/2010)
--K. Arumugam
Indian Railways CR Kumar is expected to be the Chief Coach of the Women’s national hockey team. It is learnt that the Sports Authority of India has written a letter to this effect to Railways Promotion Board.

It is expected CR Kumar will shortly be given necessary leave from the Railways to enable him to join the team. Meanwhile, the camp for the women players will start at Patiala from tomorrow as per the decision of the Sports Authority of India.

Acknowledge as a sound tactician and committed worker, CR Kumar at present works in Southern Railways, Chennai. As coach of the colts in the late 90s, it is CR Kumar who did all the spade work for Indian junior teams that brought laurels on the world stage.

It was his hardwork and vision that created a vast pool of players who went on to win the Junior World Cup in 2001. Stars like Arjun Halappa, Prabodh Tirkey, Vikram Pillay, Viren Rasquinha etc are some of the stars he spotted and moulded in the late 90s.

Kumar, a centre-forward of his times, also played for India.

He managed 2002 World Cup Indian team after Cedric D’Souza was sacked midway through the competition. He was Cedric's deputy till then.

Highlight of his coaching of course is his assignment in Malaysia. He coached the Malaysian women for four years. His team that participated in the 2004 Asia Cup gave a tough fight to India at Dhyan Chand stadium.

We welcome CR Kumar, a competent, proven and grassroot coach, to step into the shoes of another committed and purposeful coach MK Kaushik – who is a victim of him own standards of discipline.

Indian women have, in the last three years under Kaushik, improved in all departments of the game. The semifinal they played against Korea at the last Asia Cup is an eye-opener for the women's potential. Think for a while India qualified for the World Cup ahead of Korea!!

Now with CR Kumar -- thank god it did not go to some high-talking but totally incompetent brand of former Olympians -- in the thick of things, it is only expected the teams will do wonders in the coming crucial tournaments (World Cup, Commonwealth Games and Asian Games).

A medal in the last two mentioned events is the least expectation from the girls.

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