India sack Nobbs as men's hockey coach

New Delhi, July 9 (IANS) India's men's hockey coach Michael Nobbs was sacked after the team's series of dismal performances over the last 12 months.

The decision to sack the Australian was taken during a review meeting of the team's overall performance by the Sports Authority of India (SAI). Nobbs, who was appointed in June 2011, was removed with three years still remaining of his contract.

Hockey India (HI) secretary general Narinder Batra said that Nobbs, who is currently on a two-week leave, was sacked since the team was not progressing.

"We realised that the team was not progressing. SAI and HI felt that the team was stuck at one place and to move forward we are looking for new ideas, and so we decided to part ways with Nobbs," said Batra here Tuesday.

Under Nobbs, the team lost all its matches during the 2012 London Olympics and finished a disappointing last among the 12 competing teams. Last month, India were sixth in the FIH World League Round 3 tournament in Rotterdam.

Nobbs' biggest achievement was taking India, who had missed the Beijing Games for the first time in 80 years, back to the Olympics by winning the qualifier on home soil. The team also finished fourth during the 2012 Champions Trophy.

Hockey India (HI) high-performance manager Roelant Oltmans has been given the charge of the team. The Dutch legend is now in charge of the national camp in Bangalore.

"Oltmans will now have the dual role of high performance manager and chief coach till we get a new foreign coach. M.K.Kaushik will be the new national coach," said Batra.

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