BHOPAL: The man who scored the decisive goal in 1975 Hockey World Cup final against arch rival Pakistan (the only time India won the senior men hockey world cup) has resigned as technical advisor and chief coach of the Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy in Bhopal.
Ashok Kumar Dhyanchand, the former India captain and the incisive striker son of India’s hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand resigned from his post on Wednesday after the top mandarins at the MP sports directorate asked him to quit over non-performance of the state teams at national hockey tourneys.
The 68-year-old star of the 1975 Malaysia hockey world cup, who also featured in three other editions of the world cup in the 1970s, besides the Olympics in 1972 and 1976, told the New Indian Express that he was asked to resign by the top bosses of the state sports directorate on Tuesday.
Reportedly, he was told to quit from his post, when he went to meet top bosses, including director (sports) Upendra Jain in Bhopal, with the third place podium finish trophy won by MP team at the recently concluded sub-junior national hockey (boys) Championship in Bengaluru.
“I was first asked which all teams we played with and how many games we won. I told the top bosses that we won six matches, before losing the semi-finals. I thought our feat would be hailed as we had performed dismally in 2016 edition of national sub juniors. But to my utter surprise instead of hailing the feat of my boys, I was asked to resign from my post over bad performance of our teams,” said an emotional Kumar, who has been the technical advisor and chief coach of the MP State Academy since 2007.
While the senior officials at the MP sports directorate and MP State Hockey Academy were unavailable for comment in the matter, informed sources in the state’s sports department said Kumar was asked to step down from his post in the wake of dismal performance by the MP team at the Junior Nationals (Men) held in Bhopal last month.
However, Kumar’s resignation which has been accepted is likely to have a debilitating effect on the morale of MP’s senior men team training for the senior nationals slated in Lucknow from June 15.
“I don’t think, it has to do with the performance. Had it been the only parameter, then the sub-junior boys bronze medal finish in Bengaluru should have also been taken into account. It’s something else behind asking me to resign, which only the top bosses know,” said Kumar.
Added Kumar, “I have lived for hockey and will die for hockey, no matter what comes my way,” said Kumar.