Olympic gold medallist V. Baskaran will return as coach of the Indian men’s hockey team and will work under recently-appointed chief coach Terry Walsh.
Baskaran last coached the team in 2007 but was sacked after a string of poor performances, especially after India returned without a medal for the first time from the 2006 Asian Games in Doha.
Baskaran has joined the training camp of the team at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Centre in Bhopal for preparations for the FIH World League Finals in New Delhi in January and the 2014 FIH World Cup to be held in the Netherlands.
“Mr. Baskaran will form an integral part of the coaching staff headed by Mr. Terry Walsh. I am sure his valuable experience will help the team in the 2014 World Cup and help take Indian hockey to new heights,” Hockey India (HI) secretary general Narinder Batra said on Wednesday.
Baskaran said he was happy to work with the team.
“It’s a pleasant comeback for me with the senior men’s national team. It will be excellent to work with Terry Walsh for the betterment of Indian hockey.”
Baskaran, who was the Indian team captain that won gold at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, has 287 internationals caps and has represented India at the Olympics in 1976 Montreal, and in two World Cups — 1973 Amsterdam (Silver) and 1978 Buenos Aires.
He also coached the national team for 10 years. Under him, India played 187 matches including major tournaments such as Olympics in 2000 (Sydney), and two World Cups — in 1998 in Utrecht and 2006 in Germany.
In 1980, he received the Arjuna Award and in 1981, the Padma Shri.