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HI clips Nobbs wings

Faridabad: A fortnight after the Indian hockey team earned the dubious distinction of finishing last in Olympic, Hockey India (HI) decided to appoint a high performance manager for the men’s and women’s national teams.

While the HI secretary general Narendra Batra said the decision was taken to improve the game at all level, it was widely believed to be a move to curtail the powers of chief coach Michael Nobbs. Batra said the name of the high performance manager is yet to be finalised but Nobbs has agreed to work in the changed set up.

The Australian coach was in the midst of controversy after India’s London debacle as he chose to criticise the senior players openly for India’s six losses. There were reports of rifts in the squad and striker Shivendra Singh blamed the coach for the poor results.

Batra, however, was not ready to accept the appointment of performance manager was a ploy to cut down Nobbs’s powers.

“He will be overseeing the performance of both men’s and women’s teams with the senior national coaches reporting to him. His job will be to see the successful implementation of coaching from senior to sub junior,” Batra said.

Batra also said that HI was planning to start an annual hockey series against Pakistan and few other top hockey playing nations.