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Mukesh humiliated as Harendra moves into Colts car (9/23/2011)
--K. Arumugam
Mukesh humiliated as Harendra moves in to Colts cart.

Cats used to have nine lives. This gentleman called Harendra has much more, it seems. He is now coach for the Junior Men’s team. Junior team will take part in an international tournament early next month in Johar Bahru, Malaysia.

One-week coach of Junior India, Olympian Mukesh Kumar has been replaced with omni-present Harendra Singh today. As the latter moves to Bangalore -- after recent ‘secret’ open trails were conducted -- Hockey India unfolds another of unending series of mysteries for which it seems to seek permanent patent of sorts.

The triple Olympian Mukesh Kumar from Hyderabad, definitely the choice of vocal face of Hockey India called Pargat Singh, has thus been humiliated. He was in-charge of open trails, and had selected 48 probables. He was supposed to train the team further.

HI has mentioned Mukesh as the coach in its communications to the state units, which has now changed and appointed Harendra, who till recently was the coach of the senior India. This is a clear case of ad-hocism, and whim.

Is it a demotion for the rent-a-coach Harendra? Yes, certainly. Because, he is often briefly elevated to senior side after almost every chief coach was sacked in the current decade at least.

Harendra’s home coming surprises because only recently he went hammer and tongs against Pargat Singh what with quickly-withdrawn match-fixing allegations, and other serious charges. He even was seen in the company of other camp advocating the cause of World Series Hockey, castigating present masters Hockey India.

It is also gathered that the entire HI system staff – selectors who pinned down Mukesh Kumar for the job, like AB Subbaiah, government nominees Dilip Tirkey and Harbinder Singh among others – are aghast at the sudden and arbitrary happening.

Hockey India often led us to believe that all technical matters will be done by Pargat Singh, he being its Development, Coaching and Disciplinary Committee Chairman. Now, Pargat has to come forth and explain to the country what is happening - rather brewing up.

Pargat and Sukhbir Grewal and some of his other friends also has had a month long interview of aspirant Indian coaches, but somehow did not reveal the names they selected. Had Pargat & Co made public their choice of coaches, it would not have given room for the manipulators to go merrily as is happening in this case.

Secondly, what will happen now?

After the Johor Bahru event, Juniors will not have much activity. To utilize the services of the experienced coach Harendra, he will be taken as one of the assistant coaches to Nobbs, and then a lobby and the likes of Rajpals will surface. Like of him will become Indian coach, while Nobbs, the genuine coach, will be designated as Foreign Coach. The drama that was enacted during Brasa's regime is expected to be repeated again.

So, one step forward, two step backward for Indian hockey. For those statistically minded, Harendra has been in and out of Junior and Senior India coaching from 1998 to till date. He was the coach of the 2005 Junior World Cup where India finished fourth.

He was main coach of 2009 Azlan Shah Cup, Asia Cup, and then for the 2011 Azlan Shah Cup.

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