HYDERABAD: A ‘humiliated’ Mukesh Kumar said Hockey India (HI) insulted him by replacing him with Baljit Singh Saini as coach of the junior Indian team. The three-time Olympian, who came to know about his sacking through the media, said HI should have given reasons for his ouster as coach. “I was with the team for 21 days and took the team to the Johor Bahru Cup where we did reasonably well to finish fourth in my first assignment. When I was expecting to continue as coach, I find myself thrown out. I had worked hard and expecting good performance in future,’’ said Mukesh. The appointment itself started in controversial manner. After he was told by Narinder Batra, president of HI, of taking over the junior team in Bangalore a few months ago,he found to his surprise Harendra Singh had already arrived for the assignment.
“I was surprised to see Harinder at the camp. I was asked to assist the senior coach Michael Nobbs. But Harendra meanwhile took the coaching job in the World Series Hockey. HI convinced me to take over as junior India coach. I had enjoyed the role,’’ he said. But the latest twist by HI has hurt Mukesh. ‘’I was hurt by HI’s attitude and action. They should be clear in their policies. Now, after this humiliation they are offering different posts in HI. My second innings as coach has been sabotaged by a few people in HI,’’ he concluded.