Nobbs alone should not be blamed for hockey slide: Pargat

New Delhi, July 9 (IANS) Former India hockey captain Pargat Singh, who played a key role in the appointment of Michael Nobbs as national coach in June 2011, blames the Australian as much as the lack of infrastructure in the country for India's slide at the international level.

Hockey India sacked Nobss after a meeting Friday, making him another foreign coach who could not revive the dipping fortunes of Indian hockey.

Pargat told IANS that Nobbs was never a top coach, but was the best option under the circumstances.

"There were not many options available at that time. Roelant Oltmans (who is currently India's high performance manager) was too costly and in that context, Nobbs fitted the bill. At the least, we thought he would be able to inculcate the good things of Australian hockey in our players," said Pargat.

The former defender, however, stressed that it was not fair to only blame Nobbs for the team's poor run. India finished last in the 2012 Olympics and most recently sixth out of eight teams in the Hockey World League Round 3, failing to qualify for the World Cup.

"The best coach in the world will be no good if you don't have a system in place. We have no structure at the grassroot level. A few top teams continue to dominate the nationals and you have scorelines such as 20-0. The weaker and strong teams are all playing at the same time. The process should be streamlined where the best of the weaker states qualify to play teams like Punjab," said the 48-year-old adding that the federation in charge lacked vision to improve the level of the sport.

While Pargat got Nobbs to India, it was under the Australian that another former captain Rajpal Singh was sidelined. The man from Perth wanted to flood the team with youngsters, ignoring the likes of Rajpal, Arjun Halappa, Shivendra Singh and Sandeep Singh.

"I was removed after leading the team to victory in the Asian Champions Trophy in 2011. The policy apparently was to get youngsters and phase out the established names. Clearly, that has not worked out," Rajpal told IANS.

"Age should not be a criterion as long as the players are performing. Belgium is one team which has improved immensely in the last three-four years and they have not tinkered a lot with their composition," he said of the side which beat India to win the 2011 Champions Challenge in South Africa.

As for Nobbs, Rajpal said: "Nobbs was weak with his strategy and it was most visible with his actions during the Olympics. I would say Brasa (Jose) was much better than him."

Looking ahead, he hopes a capable coach will take charge of the team.

"Indian or foreign, the coach should be good. We should focus more on the performance rather than having high performance managers."

Pargat, on his part, feels the future looks bleak under the existing set-up.

"I don't see Indian hockey improving with the current management. It seems like a one-man show whereas it should be treated like a shared responsibility which deals with administration and the technical part along with a think-tank which is there for the players all the time," he said.

Pargat concluded by saying that events like the Hockey India League are good for the upcoming talent but the foreign participation should be restricted.

(Bharat Sharma can be contacted at bharat.s@ians.in)

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Furious fifties by Duminy and Dinesh Karthik end a long losing streak for the Daredevils. More »

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

Royal Challengers overcame a stutter to cruise to the small target they were set by Mumbai Indians. More »

Glenn Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell seems to project an icy disdain when at the crease. Match situations rarely faze him and the bubble in which he plays excludes everyone … More »

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

His status as president of TNCA makes him eligible to attend the Working Committee meeting on Sunday. More »

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

Kevin Pietersen's hopes of reviving his international career appeared to end Saturday when ECB managing director Paul Downton said there was 'no way back'… More »

[REWIND] The world record that nearly wasn't

[REWIND] The world record that nearly wasn't

Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it. More »

Moores gets second stint as England coach

Moores gets second stint as England coach

In a two-year spell from 2007 to 2009, the 51-year-old Moores led England in seven Test series. More »

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh's senior players will have three sessions with a psychological skill development coach later this month More »

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

Dalmiya feels that Srinivasan’s ‘power hungry’ attitude isn’t helping matters. More »

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

The bowlers restricted Hyderabad to 133 for 6 before Rahane and Binny took Rajasthan over the line. More »

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

The 36-year-old believes the T20 format and rule changes in 50-over matches have made a real difference. More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

BCCI members want independent probe

BCCI members want independent probe

The board members are realising after the Supreme Court's observations that something has to be done — IS Bindra More »

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Preview — The threat of Sunil Narine looms large again. More »

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Preview — Given the firepower in both line-ups, Dubai crowd may see another high-scorer More »

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »

Stressed Trott stands down again

Stressed Trott stands down again

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that batsman Jonathan Trott is to take another break from all cricket with immediate eff… More »

PCB starts another coach hunt

PCB starts another coach hunt

The PCB has decided to not extend the contracts of head coach Moin Khan, fielding coach Shoaib Mohammad and batting consultant Zaheer Abbas, and has invited… More »

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

England all-rounder Ben Stokes admits he must keep his anger under control if he is to end his international exile. More »

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistani cricket authorities have launched an investigation after a number of current international stars played in exhibition matches in the United States… More »

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

The BCCI will hold an emergent working committee meeting on April 20 to discuss the future course of action with regard to the Supreme Court hearing concerning… More »