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Kaushik may coach junior hockey team

New Delhi: Controversial hockey coach Maharaj Krishan Kaushik, who bowed out as the women’s national coach two years ago after a player levelled charges of sexual harassment against him, is back in the fray and could be given the charge of the junior India team.

According to sources, Hockey India (HI), which vowed never to take Kaushik back and asked Delhi police to probe into the allegations against the coach, has approached Sports Authority of India (SAI) to appoint the veteran trainer for the junior national team.

Considered one of the best in the business, Kaushik found himself embroiled in controversy in 2010 when a Manipur-based woman player alleged the coach sexually harassed her.

While an enquiry launched by HI found the charges against Kaushik “credible”, Kaushik was forced to submit his resignation. The sports ministry, too, launched a probe on the issue.

Though it was not clear what made HI to change its stand on the coach and call for his appointment for the junior team, sources said the national body was desperate to have an able coach for the team.

“Moreover, India need to have a strong junior team as it is hosting the junior World Cup next year,” the source pointed out.

“HI has indeed asked for Kaushik to be sent on deputation from his parent body in the Haryana sports department,” an official said. “He, however, is yet to be released.”

Asked, a SAI official said though HI is eager to have Kaushik, the sports ministry could spike the move because of the coach’s background. “It is also to be seen whether Haryana government releases him,” he said.

A former India player, Kaushik shot into fame as a coach in 1998 when he guided India to the gold medal in the Asian Games after 32 years. Ironically, he, along with six other players, was removed as the coach by Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) immediately after the Bangkok Games.