Delhi Waveriders put their faith in an all-Indian back room
- Trouble mounts for Sreesanth as Mumbai cops gather more evidence
- SIT to seek Supreme Court guidance on Maya Kodnani death penalty issue
- Tamil Nadu police bans Yasin Malik-linked pro-Eelam public meeting
- Kings XI Punjab end IPL 2013 campaign with a win
- Narendra Modi: India losing sheen as agricultural nation
AK Bansal jocularly refers to himself as the 'brown coach,' as the only Indian among those appointed by the five Hockey India League teams. Australians Ric Charlesworth and Barry Dancer, Dutchman Roelant Oltmans and South African Gregg Clark have been put in charge of the other squads for the league, scheduled to begin next week.
Bansal's CV does not match up to those of his rivals - Charlesworth, Dancer and Oltmans have coached Olympic title-winning teams. But Bansal, a former junior national coach, is confident that he won't be out of his depth while coaching a squad that includes an Olympic gold medallist in Germany's Nicolas Jacobi and a runner-up in the Netherlands' Pirmin Blaak, both goalkeepers. The Delhi Waveriders' coach says he can draw on the experience of being part of a similar tournament - the Premier Hockey League (PHL).
Bansal was at the helm when the Orissa Steelers won the PHL title in 2007. The Dronacharya awardee is part of an all-Indian backroom set-up, which includes two-time Olympic bronze medallist Ajit Pal Singh as chief advisor and manager and former Olympian Sabu Varkey and international Dhananjay Mahadik as assistant coaches.
"As a coach I may not be as reputed as some of the others but I have the experience and the man management skills to bring the best out of the Indian and foreign players," Bansal says.
Incidentally, it was Charlesworth who was the Delhi Waveriders' first choice for head coach. The Australian subsequently signed up for the Mumbai Magicians ahead of last month's player auction.
Onus on players
Amar Sinha, CEO of the Wave Group that owns the rights of the Delhi franchise, says that the team had decided that if they couldn't rope in Charlesworth they would appoint a reputed Indian coach.
- Quake-hit and shaken, Bhaderwah spends nights in the open
- UP blast accused dies on way to jail, govt wanted to drop case against him
- Former civil aviation secy changes mind, seeks airport security exemption as EC
- BCCI suspects Gujarat players in other teams were also approached
- Police on money trail, Sreesanth in fresh trouble
- Chhattisgarh 'encounter' leaves 8 villagers dead, no Maoist link yet