Regardless of Dhanraj Pillay's absence, Hockey India (HI) will approach the former star to make an appearance at the next round of interviews to pick the National coach.

The HI concluded its first round of interviews for the posts of coaches and support staff here on Sunday.

HI Secretary Narinder Kumar Batra confirmed he would speak to Pillay and convince him to come on February 6, the date fixed form the final round of interviews.

“He may have had some compelling reason not to come. We all know his contribution to Indian hockey and we have an open mind towards having more and more involvement from our former great players. I will request him personally to come for the interview,” said Mr. Batra.

Olympian and former India captain Pargat Singh, head of the HI Development Committee, supported Mr. Batra's idea.

“We want the best to come and coach the team. The intention is to improve Indian hockey and we can wait and select the best man for the job.

“There were some candidates who couldn't come today and have requested us for another opportunity,” Pargat said.

HI is keen to finalise the coaches for men's and women's teams in addition to the development teams, junior and sub-junior before beginning the search for a foreign coach.

“We will discuss the foreign coach matter with the Sports Authority of India only after we decide the Indian coaches for the various teams,” added Mr. Batra.

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