Attacked for his apparent dictatorial rule, Hockey India (HI) president Narinder Batra has found support in ex-India coach Michael Nobbs, who says he is the “only person who can do the job”.
With coach Paul van Ass tenure with the men’s hockey team to end under bizarre circumstances, Nobbs said that Batra runs HI as per his whims and fancies.
“He is passionate and only wants the best,” Nobbs told IBN Live. “I never had an issue with him. Batra is the only person who can do this job.”
On 20 July, Van Ass said he was no longer wanted by HI and that High Performance Director Roelant Oltmans, who is also from the Netherlands, informed him of the same via email.
As per him, the decision was based on an altercation he had with Batra at the FIH World League semi-finals, in Belgium.
He said, “I have not quit, I was fired by Batra and the deed was done a week after the World League semis in Belgium.”
“Watching Van Ass coach—he used to speak at all breaks in his broken English and yell at the boys. No translator, how weird,” said the Australian.
“I think Batra needs to think outside the box. Until India gets specialists, India should hand over the team to Harendra Singh and Oltmans.
“Oltmans has coached the team. Reasonable results. Harendra brings excellent language skills in translation, knows all the players very well,” Nobbs said.
“He worked with me initially, has shown good results with the junior programme. It’s an easy decision. A dumb one would be bringing another foreigner,” said the Aussie.