News for 22 July 2010

All the news for Thursday 22 July 2010
Black Sticks men lose Champions Trophy warm-up

New Zealand have lost the first of four warm-up matches for next week's Champions Trophy tournament, going down to Belgium 3-5 in Antwerp this morning.

Two of New Zealand's goals were scored by Andy Hayward with fullback Hayden Shaw getting the other. The match also marked defender Brad Shaw's 100th cap.

New Zealand play Belgium again tomorrow.

They next head to Paris to play three matches against France ahead of the Champions Trophy which begins on July 21 at Monchengladbach, Germany.

Stuff



Lakra dazzles in Army XI's exciting win

S. Thyagarajan



KEEN CONTEST: BPCL's Aiyappa (left) and Southern Railway's Yuvaraj fight for possession in the MCC-Murugappa Gold Cup hockey tournament on Wednesday. Photo : M. Vedhan

The last pool ‘A' match between Karnataka and Army XI turned out to be sensational, with a lot of drama thrown in at the death in the MCC-Murugappa Gold Cup hockey tournament here on Wednesday.

A threat of a walk-out by Karnataka, protesting a penalty corner that eventually produced the match-winner for Army XI, obliterated the sheen from the heroic fightback staged by it.

The margin of 7-6 with the match-winner from Rajesh Lakra, who scored four goals including a hat-trick, tells the tale of the tie with a veneer of eloquence.

The Army XI team, the defending champion, was desperate to garner full points to stay in line for the semifinal place. But Karnataka, with only a solitary point up to that point was unwilling and determined to make a match of it. And, what more, succeeded enormously. Twice it held the lead after Mudappa's splendid backhander and Pradhan Somiah's flick in from a scrimmage found the target.

Defenders disappoint

But the Karnataka defenders were not equal to the task to complement the hard work of the forwards. Conceding soft goals, the defenders let down the team which saw Army coming back through goals by S.V. Sunil and Rajesh Lakra, who pumped in two penalty corers in succession to take Army XI ahead. He converted a stroke shortly after the break to complete his hat-trick.

Trailing 2-4, Karnataka appeared to be in the grip of defeat but the players rose to the occasion. Sparkling in frontline sallies, Mudappa hit in his second goal even as S.V. Sunil struck to keep the lead at 5-3. A penalty corner by Mudappa followed by goals by Nikkin Thimmiah and Nithin Thimmiah brought Karnataka to the forefront at 6-5.

A splendid effort by Armugam gave a fresh lease of life for Army XI at 6-6. The match was hanging in the balance as the teams traded passes and exchanges in a now-or-never mood.

When clock showed one minute from close umpire Anil Kumar awarded a penalty corner. The decision brought of volley of protests from the Karnataka players who swarmed the umpire arguing volubly.

When this remonstrations failed to convince the umpire the Karnataka players began strolling towards the bench suggesting a walk-out. But the senior officials with the team, headed by coach Brient, persuaded to the players to continue.

Body language

The body language of the players was one of clear reluctance as Army XI prepared for the penalty corner execution. Rajesh Lakra smashed the ball to the boards much to the chagrin of the Karnataka players who vent their anger at the umpire. A few even moved menacingly towards him but the table officials and the Tournament Director, Md. Muneer, intervened and prevented anything ugly surfacing and escorted Anil Kumar to safety.

Army XI has seven points after finishing its programme while Karnataka completed its engagements with a solitary point.

The 1-2 reverse suffered by ONGC did not disturb its assured semifinal place. But the verdict enhanced the chances of Indian Railways which needs a draw on Thursday against Namdhari XI after Army XI's sensational victory in Pool ‘A'.

Railways went into the lead when Chenglein Sana scored but Diwakar Ram slotted the equaliser from a penalty corner. With six minutes remaining from the hooter, Jayakaran netted the winner amidst spontaneous cheers.

BPCL earned its first win in three matches against Southern Railway, which ended the programme with nil points.

The results: Indian Railways 2 (Chenglein Sana, Jayakaran) bt ONGC 1 (Diwakar Ram); Army XI 7 (Rajesh Lakra 4, S.V. Sunil 2, Arumugam) bt Karnataka 6 (Mudappa 3, Pradhan Somiah, Nikkin Thimmiah, Nithin Thimmiah); BPCL 7 (Karamjit Singh 2, Amar Ayamma 2, Jarnail Singh 2, Gurpreet Singh) bt Southern Railway 2 (Mahesh 2).

The Hindu



Surprises mixed with the usual

JONATHAN COOK

The Pool A match between defending champions Southern Gauteng and Western Province went the way of the Cape team 3-1 at the SA Women's Interprovincial Hockey Tournament in East London Wednesday.

Southerns had themselves to blame as they missed numerous opportunities but WP were more adept in the attacking circle from both field and penalty corner play.

Cindy Brown opened the scoring eight minutes before half-time via a penalty corner and they added one more nine minutes after the break when Taryn Bright netted from another corner.

Southerns hit back soon after when captain Marsha Marescia scored a field goal but with 13 minutes to full-time former national striker Henna du Buisson restored the two-goal cushion.

North West were somewhat fortunate to shade last year's B Section winners Eastern Province 1-0 via a penalty stroke that was half-saved by goalkeeper Michelle Cremer but Michelle Dias's effort trickled over the goalline.

KZN Coastals continued their impressive form in an admittedly weaker Pool B as their overall balance between attack, midfield and defence overwhelmed a willing but outclassed Witwatersrand as the Durban side chalked up their second successive 8-0 win after beating KZN Inland by the same margin in their opening match.

The final A Section match of the day saw Northerns Gauteng Blues beat KZN Inland 6-0 with a brace apiece for Dirkie Chamberlain and Marlene Nortje.

The B Section saw a shock result when the fancied Sasko SA Country Districts A side lost 2-1 to KZN Mynahs, who led 2-1 at half-time thanks to a brace of penalty corners from Caryn Thompson, this after Cara-Lee Williams had shot the country girls into the lead with a field goal in the sixth minute.

Thursday sees the final round of A Section pool matches and the big one sees Southern Gauteng facing North West to decide who qualifies for the semi-finals next to top dogs WP.

RESULTS

A section: North West 1 Eastern Province 0; KZN Coastals 8 Witwatersrand 0;
Western Province 3 Southern Gauteng 1; Northerns Blues 6 KZN Inland 0.

B Section: KZN Mynahs 2 Sasko SA Country Districts 1; WP Peninsula 5
Southern Cape 0; Northern Cape 2 Namibia 0; Border 12Mpumalanga 0.

FIXTURES

A Section: WP vs EP; Northerns vs KZN Coastals; Wits vs KZN Inland; North
West vs Southerns.

B Section: Mpumalanga vs Namibia; KZN Mynahs vs Sasko SA Country Districts
B; Northern Cape vs Free State; Southern Cape vs Sasko SA Country Districts
A.

Byes: WP Pens; Border.

SA Hockey World



Keet hat-trick inspires Border to 12-0 rout

By KARIEM HASSAN


THERE was a slight chill in the air at East London’ s Kat Leisure Park, but Border warmed the cockles of the hearts of their fans when they obliterated Mpumalanga 12-0 in their B section women’s hockey interprovincial last night.

This massive win gives Border a huge lift in their bid to gain promotion to the A section this weekend.

Such was Border’s dominance that goalkeeper Candice Freitag hardly had anything to do for much of the match, and the few attacks by a Mpumalanga outfit were easily snuffed out.

This was truly a team effort and it would be unfair to single out anyone for special mention as Border played like a well-oiled machine running at top gear. Cailin McClure opened the scoring in the fifth minute when she drove past Mpumalanga keeper Desire Troskie, who had a torrid night as Border had her goal under siege.

Led by a fired-up skipper, Marcelle Keet, Border went into overdive from the 21st minute and the goals rained in.

Border entered the second half 5-0 to the good and seven more followed. For the record Keet (3), Lana Smith (2), Bronwyn Kretzmann (2), McClure (2), Amber Horrman, Cindy Dredge and Liandri Fourie were the scorers.

Earlier, Northern Gauteng put KwaZulu-Natal Inland to the sword when they ran out 6-0 winners in their A section Pool match.

Western Province found Southerns stubborn adversaries in their A section match before they ran out 3-1 winners in a highly entertaining clash .

Province lead the Pool ahead of Southerns.

In other matches yesterday, KwaZulu-Natal Mynahs 2 SA Country Districts A 1; WP Peninsula 5 Southern Cape 0; Namibia 0 Northern Cape 2; Eastern Province 0 North West 1; KwaZulu-Natal Coastals 8 Witwatersrand 0.

TODAY’S FIXTURES ARE:

A section: At Buffalo Flats: 1pm, KwaZulu-Natal Mynahs v SACD B; At Kat Leisure: 2pm, Northerns v KwaZulu-Natal Coastals; 4pm, Witwatersrand v KwaZulu-Natal Inland; 6pm, Southern Cape v SACD A

B section: At Buffalo Flats: 11am, Mpumalanga v Namibia; 3pm, Northern Cape v Free State

At Kat Leisure: 9am, North West v Southerns; 11am, Western Province v Eastern Province

Daily Dispatch



Netherlands stays ABN AMRO World Ranking leader

The women’s team of Netherlands stays the leader at the ABN AMRO World Ranking after the conclusion of the Samsung FIH Champions Trophy. The Olympic and World Champion keeps its lead over tournament winner Argentina.

China is still in third place, Germany is ranked fourth and Australia remains fifth. England moved up one spot to sixth following their best ever performance at a FIH Champions Trophy, where they finished third. New Zealand climb to positions and is now ranked seventh.

The next update of the ABN AMRO World Ranking for women will be made mid-September after the BDO FIH World Cup in Rosario, Argentina.

Please click here for the ABN AMRO World Rankings.

WorldHockey



Hockey SA teams named for Commonwealth Games


The South Africa hockey teams to participate in the 19th Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India between October 3 to 14 were announced by Sascoc Wednesday.

This will be the fifth occasion that South Africa has been represented at the Commonwealth Games since re-joining the Commonwealth in 1994 after a break of 33 years during the international sports isolation period.

Speaking at the announcement, SASCOC president Gideon Sam wished the team well and urged them to give of their very best. "The message to the team remains. All we have to do is to improve on our fifth position at the last Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia four years ago and equal or improve our medals tally.

"This will be an excellent test of whether our policy of 'only the best' will show results. We have included team sports that will make the size of the team look big, but it will still be a far cry from the big team that represented us in Melbourne."

The South African team of 2006 was one of the largest in Melbourne.

"The performance of this team will also give us an indication of how well we are doing on the road to the London Olympics in 2012. We expect good performances from both the swimmers and the track and field athletes with good contributions from the bowls team as well," said Sam.

Since their return to the Commonwealth, South Africa have never finished lower than 12th on the medals table. Their first Commonwealth Games after isolation were in Victoria, British Colombia where they won 11 medals to place 12th.

Since then they have been represented in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (1998), Manchester (2002) and Melbourne (2006).

In Melbourne they were fifth on the medals table, winning a total of 38 medals (12 gold, 13 silver and 13 bronze) and finishing behind Australia, England, India and Canada.

South Africa’s gold medals came from swimming (five), track and field (five) and one each from boxing and shooting.

New Delhi won the right to host the 2010 Games by defeating the Canadian city of Hamilton by 46 votes to 22 at the Commonwealth Games Federation General Assembly held in Montego Bay, Jamaica in November 2003.

South Africans have already had a taste of the Commonwealth Games experience this year, with the Queen's Baton Relay touching down in South Africa and taking in a successful whirlwind tour of the country before it continued its journey from Buckingham Palace, England to New Delhi.

There were no real surprises in the men's team while SA women's team regualr, Shelley Russell of WP, has been ommitted.

Russell has converted from striker to midfielder fasirly recently. New face is Northerns Blues' left half Nicolene Terblanche, who reportedly impressed the SA coaching staff no end during the recent trip to China. (SA Hockey World).

The South African team of hockey athletes and officials that will do duty at the 19th Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India between 3-14 October:

SA HOCKEY TEAMS

Hockey (women): Tarryn Bright, Dirkie Chamberlain, Lisa-Marie Deetliefs, Farah Fredericks, Lesle-Ann George, Kim Hubach, Marcelle Keet, Kelly Madsen, Sanani Mangisa, Marsha Marescia (capt), Mariette Rix, Lenise Marais, Kathleen Taylor, Nicolene Terblanche, Roxanne Turner, Jen Wilson. Manager: Luntu Ntloko. Coach: Giles Bonnett. Assistant coach: Fabian Gregory.

Hockey (men): Brendan Botes, Gareth Carr, Tim Drummond, Ian Haley, Rhett Halkett, Tommy Hammond, Marvin Harper, Julian Hykes, Lance Louw, Lloyd Madsen, Lloyd Norris-Jones, Wade Paton, Taine Paton, Erasmus Pieterse, Justin Reid-Ross, Austin Smith (capt). Manager: Anton van Rooyen. Coach: Gregg Clark. Assistant coach: David Viney.
(SASCOC)

SA Hockey World



Hockey India investigate sexual harassment claims

Hockey India is investigating claims of sexual harassment of junior female players in the national hockey team.

Hockey India president Vidya Stokes said Wednesday that coach Maharaj Kishan Kaushik had stood down from his position ahead of the upcoming Asian Champions Trophy, and the organization will set up a committee to look into the allegations.

The Times of India reported Wednesday that an anonymous letter written to India's Sports Ministry made allegations of misconduct against Kaushik involving junior players during a tour.

"The committee will have a meeting tomorrow and we are confident of completing the investigation within 4-5 days," Hockey India general secretary Narendra Batra was quoted to say by Press Trust of India.

"Whoever is found guilty, Hockey India will impose life ban on him,"

Kaushik told The Times of India that the accusations against him were false.

"I don't know who has written the letter. I want the ministry to find out and punish the perpetrator for slandering my name," the report quoted Kaushik to say.

The Telegraph



Sex scandal rocks Indian women's hockey team.

By AMLAN CHAKRABORTY


India's women's hockey team coach MK Kaushik said he has resigned to clear his name after a player accused him and some of his staff of sexually harassing her.

His departure is a blow to India's prospects at next month's World Cup in Argentina because he was seen as instrumental to raising the team's level of performance.

Kaushik's resignation came on the day Hockey India (HI) said it was setting up a panel to investigate the allegation brought by one player against the coach and other support staff.

"I am innocent and her allegations are baseless. She did it out of frustration after she was dropped from the side," Kaushik told reporters.

"I have submitted my resignation to (the) HI president because the incident damaged my image."

HI president Vidya Stokes told reporters an assistant coach will take charge of the team for the Asian Champions Trophy in Busan, South Korea, this month.

Kaushik, a member of India's 1980 Moscow Olympic gold medal-winning men's hockey team, met HI officials overnight (NZ time) where he tendered his resignation.

"Hopefully, the panel will give its recommendations before next month's World Cup so that we can either get a new coach or reinstate Kaushik if he is found innocent," HI secretary Narinder Batra said.

The federation said it had suspended a member of the team's support staff after receiving evidence he had been involved with prostitutes.

Stuff



Kaushik resigns following allegations of sexual harassment

Y. B. Sarangi



Further action against hockey coach M.K. Kaushik (in pic) will be taken by the Sports Authority of India, pending the outcome of an inquiry. The Hindu

Reeling under allegations of sexual harassment by one of the players, the Indian women's hockey team chief coach M. K. Kaushik relinquished his post on Wednesday. The player, Th. Ranjitha Devi, in an email to Hockey India (HI) on July 20, said that she was subjected to ‘sexual harassment' and eventually not considered for inclusion in the team when she did not accede to the coach's “demands.”

On a day of dramatic developments, Ranjitha was flown in to attend the enquiry meeting conducted by a five-member committee appointed by Hockey India, comprising Rajeev Mehta (Chairman), Olympians Ajit Pal Singh and Zafar Iqbal, Hockey Delhi member Sudarshan Pathak and HI media manager Anupam Ghulati.

“The committee will make a recommendation to the Sports Authority of India (SAI) by Friday,” HI Secretary-General Narinder Batra told mediapersons. He said SAI would take the final decision since Kaushik was on a deputation from that department.

Inconclusive report

Sources indicated that the report of the committee was likely to be inconclusive. Zafar defended his former colleague. The two were members of the team that won the gold at the Moscow Olympics. “It is not a strong case. It could have been resolved much earlier. The complaint looks dicey,” said Zafar. He was particularly disturbed with the timing of the complaint. “Why did she not come up with her protest earlier even though the alleged harassment had been going on for six months.”

During the enquiry, Zafar reportedly asked the player to be specific with her allegations but she could not produce a convincing explanation, according to the Olympian.

“He has never touched that lady,” Zafar said. Assessing Kaushik as a player, coach and a person, Zafar said he personally would not doubt his credentials. “He has never faced such an allegation before. Kaushik has been attached with the team as National coach since 1999. We have played together but I have not heard anything against him,” the former India captain said.

Zafar and Batra disclosed that 30 other probables of the team had expressed their support to Ranjitha and signed the letter forwarded by her to HI. “But when I asked some other players whether such things have happened with any of them, they said no,” said Batra.

Many in hockey circles believe the controversy to be connected with the HI elections slated for July 28. While Zafar said the controversy could be an off-shoot of the coming HI elections, Batra denied any such possibility.

Conspiracy

Kaushik, on his part, said this was a conspiracy against him and he was ready to face any inquiry. “I know the decision would come in my favour, but I would not continue,” he said.

Would he not like to return as coach even if proved innocent? “No. It would be difficult for me to continue if the team has even one player who has doubted my character. It is the work of some disgruntled elements and some girls have been misled into doing this. I would say they are immature.”

Kaushik was convinced that the players had been “pressurised” to sign the letter supporting Ranjitha.

Earlier in the day, Batra had said that on July 16 and 17 HI received anonymous emails (in the name of ‘hockey sudhar singh'), accusing the women's hockey team's videographer Vasavraj, a SAI employee, of immoral conduct. On July 19, HI suspended the videographer.

On Tuesday, HI received the email from Ranjitha with allegations against Kaushik and the committee, headed by Mehta, had been enquiring the matter. Batra said HI would support the player if she sought legal help.

Meanwhile, the women's team left for Korea to take part in the Asian Champions Trophy. Vasu Thapliyal and Mohd. Khalid Modi will be the coaches.

Chaos reigns

Chaos reigned outside the Organising Committee office as a large number of mediapersons gathered on the pavement to keep track of the developments. News filtered in from different sources in the absence of any official guidance. Despite repeated requests, the OC was not able to provide a decent platform for holding the press conference, which was addressed on the road by Batra and Zafar.

The Hindu



Women's hockey coach resigns after sex charges

Biswajyoti Brahma & Arghya Ganguly


NEW DELHI: In a dramatic turn of events, the Indian women's hockey coach, M K Kaushik, tendered his resignation on Wednesday after all 32 members of the team backed sexual harassment charges levelled against him by a player.

The resignation followed charges by Ranjita Devi, a member of the senior national team, that the former Olympian had been sexually harassing her. Ranjita made the claim in a letter to the five-member Hockey India panel formed to probe the coach's conduct. The letter was signed by all other team members.

The players, who are to leave shortly for Busan (South Korea) to participate in a four-nation tournament, threatened to boycott it if Kaushik was not removed. It took a huge effort from sports ministry officials to pacify them.

"Kaushik has submitted his resignation and it would be forwarded to the Hockey India president (Vidya Stokes) who will take the final call on the issue," HI secretary-general Narendra Batra said after a meeting of the inquiry panel here.

In the letter, Ranjita - who isn't a member of the Busan-bound team - alleged Kaushik had been harassing her using sexually explicit language. Sources in the panel said the player was called for cross-questioning in the morning.

"Other coaches who were with the team on the recent tours of Japan/China and Canada/Germany were also summoned. Kaushik was also asked to come and was handed over the charges against him which basically revolved around sexual harassment issues. Both will be submitting their statements on Thursday, after which the panel's findings will be given to HI president," a source said.

"The panel hopes to come out with its findings in two days," he added.

However, Hockey India has asked assistant coach Vasu Thapliyal to perform Kaushik's duties during the tour of Busan, where India will play in the inaugural four-nation Asian Champions Trophy from July 27 to 31.

"We want all players in the camp to be called to Delhi. We want Basavraj - the team videographer who was removed after he was photographed in a compromising position with prostitutes - also to be thoroughly questioned and investigated," a team member said.

But the ministry, keen to get the team to participate in the Asian Champions Trophy, arranged for an urgent meeting with the players. Ministry officials visited the players at their hotel in R K Puram in the afternoon and spoke to them individually.

"The players were asked whether Kaushik had ever sought sexual favours from them. All 28 women players present at the hotel replied in the negative. They said Kaushik had not misbehaved with them but they were with Ranjita in her fight," a ministry official said.

The official, however, said the players were firm that they did not want to play under the coach. The players agreed to go ahead with the tour after the officials assured them that the ministry would look into their allegations.

Meanwhile, Kaushik maintained he was innocent and was confident of coming out clean after the inquiry. "The allegations are baseless. I am confident of coming out clean because I believe the truth will prevail," said Kaushik. "She (the complainant) made the allegations out of frustration. Look at her performance since the Junior World Cup... I don't think she deserves a place in the team on merit," Kaushik told a news agency.

"I am deeply hurt because my image has been damaged. All these years I have worked with full sincerity. But I have submitted my resignation because after all this I won't be able to give my 100% to the team," he said.

Meanwhile, it was learnt that Basavraj has been suspended from the Sports Authority of India (SAI).

The Times of India



Hockey sex scandal: Kaushik withdraws, videographer sacked

NEW DELHI: Rattled by allegations of sexual harassment, Indian women's hockey coach MK Kaushik on Wednesday withdrew from the team's upcoming tours even as Hockey India sacked the videographer Basavraj whose photographs with a prostitute plunged the game into a moral crisis.

Kaushik has withdrawn himself from the Asian Champions Trophy in Korea from July 27 pending an inquiry into the sex scandal by a four-member panel comprising Rajiv Mehta (chairman), former players Zafar Iqbal and Ajit Pal Singh and Sudharsan Pathak.

"I must talk to the coach and the girl who has made the allegations of sexual harassment separately. Kaushik has withdrawn his name because he wants his name to be cleared," HI President Vidya Stokes said.

"In the meanwhile, the assistant coach will travel with the team. Hopefully, everything would be sorted out by today," she said.

"We will have to look for a new coach and that would be done after consulting the Sports Authority of India," added HI's Secretary General Narinder Batra.

HI will also form a five-member committee as per Supreme Court guidelines on sexual harassment cases.

"As per the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court, we will have a panel in which at least half or more than half the members would be women. This would be done by tomorrow and hopefully it would give its recommendations before next month's World Cup in Argentina so that we can either have a new coach or reinstate Kaushik if he is found innocent," Batra said.

Batra said he received an anonymous mail on last Friday, in which allegations had been levelled against Basavraj for having been involved with prostitutes during the tours of Canada and China.

He said five photographs of the videographer with the prostitutes had also been mailed to him. Batra said the Sport Ministry has been apprised of the complaints.

"The inquiry committee was constituted soon after I got a mail from the hockey team. After a meeting on July 19, it was decided that the videographer should be suspended and the rest of staff against whom the allegations have been made should be issued notices," he said.

"The videographer is basically a SAI employee and it is upto them now, how they want to act against him. On our part we have sacked him," Batra said.

Asked what punishment HI would hand out to the coaching staff if found guilty, Batra said, "The best we can do is impose life bans but if we can take up the matter with the police and take it to the logical conclusion, we can do that as well."

Kaushik will attend the probe panel's meeting this afternoon.

Meanwhile, the defunct Indian Hockey Federation chief KPS Gill said HI was trying to hush up the matter.

"There should be a proper police inquiry into it. The Supreme Court has stated that whenever a lady makes a sexual harassment allegations, her complaint should be taken on face value," he said.

"This inquiry is an eyewash. It should be handed over to the police. I know these people, at the end of the inquiry they will come out and say, nothing happened," he alleged.

The Times of India



It's a conspiracy against me: MK Kaushik

NEW DELHI: Stunned by allegations of sexual harassment against him, Indian women's hockey coach MK Kaushik on Wednesday said the scandal is a conspiracy hatched by players who failed to get a place in the national side.

"This is a big-time conspiracy against me with many hands behind it. Those who failed to earn a place in the national team have come out with such a cheap act," Kaushik said.

Kaushik has withdrawn from the Asian Champions Trophy in South Korea from July 27, insisting that it was his moral duty to step aside until proven innocent.

"I will prove my innocence. I can't believe that one can go to such an extent to level charges against me," he said.

Indian Hockey on Tuesday plunged into a moral crisis after a member of the women's team sent a written complaint to the federation officials alleging sexual harassment by videographer Basavraj and a member of coaching staff.

Hockey India has sacked the videographer after photographs of him with a prostitute during March-April China Tour surfaced in the media.

A four-member inquiry committee has been formed to look into the sex scandal. The committee comprises Rajiv Mehta (chairman), former players Zafar Iqbal and Ajit Pal Singh and Sudharsan Pathak.

Kaushik said the allegations against him are baseless and he is confident of coming out of the crisis clean.

"With my name associated with this scandal, how can I go to the stadium with the team? No question arises of me accompanying the team to South Korea. I am not in the position to lead the side there and work with mental peace," said Kaushik, who had mentored the side to the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games gold medal triumph.

Kaushik said the allegation has sullied his 20-year-old father-like image in the team as he never thought players would go to such an extent to fulfill their vested interests.

"Go and ask the players, why they have done so? I have always maintained that those players who will play to their fullest will remain in the team. Your performance will ultimately be counted and help in cementing your place in the side.

"In the last 20 years as women's hockey team coach, no one pointed a finger towards my integrity. My players have always treated me like a father-figure. It's difficult to understand what prompted them to come out with such false charges against me," Kaushik wondered.

Kaushik said he has not spoken to any of the players over phone after the scandal broke out on Tuesday and will continue to maintain silence until proven innocent.

"What is left for me to speak about? Truth will come out soon and I will treat this incident as an eye-opener for me. I'll urge the media to go and ask these players why they have done it?"

Kaushik's contract as will expire in November this year after the Asian Games in China

The Times of India



India hockey coach to be investigated for harassment

NEW DELHI: The coach of the Indian women's hockey team has pulled out of the squad after a player accused him and some of his staff of sexually harassing her, officials from the sport's federation said on Wednesday.

MK Kaushik's departure could deal a blow to the team's prospects ahead of next month's hockey World Cup in Argentina, as he was seen as instrumental to raising the team's performance.

Officials of the Hockey India (HI) federation told reporters that Kaushik, a former Olympian and team captain, has offered to "withdraw" from the team until his name was cleared.

Kaushik, said the accusations were a "big-time conspiracy against me." "I will prove my innocence," he said.

HI will launch an investigation into the accusations, naming a panel on Thursday, federation secretary Narinder Batra said.

"Hopefully the panel will give its recommendations before next month's World Cup so that we can either get a new coach or reinstate Kaushik if he is found innocent," Batra said.

The federation, however, said it had suspended a team support staff after receiving evidence that he had been involved with prostitutes.

HI President Vidya Stokes told reporters that an assistant coach will take charge of the team for the Asian Champions Trophy in Busan, South Korea, this month.

Kaushik, a member of India's 1980 Moscow Olympic gold medal winning men's hockey team, met HI officials on Wednesday, but details were not immediately available.

The Times of India



Probe report on Friday against MK Kaushik

NEW DELHI: Officials of the Hockey India (HI) said that a probe has been initiated against MK Kaushik based on the allegations made by the players of women's team.

Meanwhile the Women's hockey team coach MK Kaushik tendered his resignation.

HI official Narinder Batra addressed the media after the federation meeting and said that they have sought legal opinion over the sexual harassment charges and the enquiry committee probing sex scandal in women's hockey will submit the report to SAI on Friday.

He also said that players haven't proved their allegations yet.

The federation, however, said it had suspended a team support staff after receiving evidence that he had been involved with prostitutes.

HI President Vidya Stokes told reporters that an assistant coach will take charge of the team for the Asian Champions Trophy in Busan, South Korea, this month.

The Times of India



Gill demands CBI probe of sex scandal in women's hockey

CHANDIGARH: A day after hockey player Ranjitha Devi accused women's team coach MK Kaushik of sexual harassment, former Punjab supercop KPS Gill on Wednesday demanded CBI probe into the charges.

After the charges, Olympian Kaushik quit as the national women's hockey coach. Hockey India (HI) has constituted a five-member committee to look into the matter.

"This is a very serious issue and we cannot rely on the inquiry of any of the committee. We need a thorough inquiry into this and I demand a CBI probe into this incident. An FIR (first information report) should be registered immediately against Kaushik," said Gill.

Gill is the former president of Indian Hockey Federation (IHF), which was later dissolved by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).

"Even during my tenure as the president of IHF, Kaushik had tried to send an unfit player for a tournament. But it came to our notice and we stopped him. Therefore, we cannot trust his integrity. I am afraid that IOA people can try to shield Kaushik. There is a strong possibility of involvement of many more names," said Gill.

A decorated police officer, Gill is widely credited with eliminating terrorism in Punjab in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Kaushik's contract was to expire in November after the Asian Games in China.

The Times of India



Former players want Kaushik punished

Arghya Ganguly


NEW DELHI: Former captain and goalkeeper, Helen Mary Innocent, lent her support to the women's hockey team and said on Wednesday that MK Kaushik was the reason why she quit hockey at the age of 30 in 2006.

"I don't want the federation to ban him. I want them to punish him for his misconduct," Mary told TOI from Mumbai. "I had complained to the federation about Kaushik and Anurita Saini, the then manager, after coming back from the World Cup in 2006 in Spain. No one supported me then. They thought I was blaming Kaushik and Saini because I was removed from captaincy. On the next tour, when a selector accompanied the team, she complained about the same things. So they removed Saini. But you have to ask the federation why they didn't sack Kaushik. I didn't want to go back to the team which was being coached by Kaushik so I quit."

Helen had complained about Kaushik and Saini having an "illicit affair". "There were 16-17-year-old girls around and you can imagine what they must have felt when they encountered Kaushik and Saini sleeping together on the same berth during one of our train journeys. They used to spend long hours locked in the hotel room. Saini would also often come drunk to the team meeting."

Mary added: "At the junior World Cup a few years ago, a girl got injured and the members of the team kept looking for Saini for help but she was not there in her room. Left with no option, they called up Kaushik's room and they could hear the voice of Saini in the background."

Despite repeated attempts, Kaushik and Saini could not be contacted.

Mary said that Kaushik minded his business and did not trouble the girls but "after Saini was sacked, Kaushik started harassing the girls. That's when things got ugly in the team."

Another former player Sangai Chanu stated that Kaushik had a "huge ego problem" when she was part of the team. "He is not an extraordinary coach. So when Ric Charlesworth came over, we were keen to get his inputs on our game. Kaushik did all he could to stop us from getting near Ric. He was insecure. Kaushik would regularly remove senior girls from the team because they would raise their voice against him. That's why he removed three senior girls including Helen Mary. Her brilliant career was cut short because of Kaushik. He preferred juniors because they were more submissive," alleged Chanu.

Meanwhile, the members of the hockey team released an angry statement late on Wednesday night when there was talk of letting Kaushik free because of lack of evidence. "First and foremost we trust Ranjita, that's why we are supporting her cause. Secondly, we are asking the federation, do they want us to move around with a spy camera to catch them in action? Isn't it enough that we are supporting Ranjita? Doesn't it speak volumes? You say that he hasn't got physical. It was only lewd language. We ask do you want us to wait till it gets physical?"

The Times of India



NCW asks federation for action taken report

NEW DELHI: In a day of rapid developments that saw the Indian women's hockey coach resigning in the face of allegations of sexual harassment, the National Commission for Women (NCW) has asked the federation for an action taken report, which is expected to be submitted in two weeks.

Expressing her dismay at news reports, NCW chairperson Girija Vyas said, "I'm shocked. We have asked the sports ministry and the hockey federation for an action taken report."

The Commission took suo moto cognisance of the incident after reports indicated that players had been sexually harassed and verbally abused by the coach.

Also, there were reports that videographer Basavraj was in the company of sex workers during trips to Canada and China. NCW has not as yet formed its own panel to conduct a probe and is likely to wait till Hockey India submits its status report on the issue.

The Times of India



Zafar Iqbal finds hockey player's allegations weak

NEW DELHI: Former India captain Zafar Iqbal, a member of the Hockey India (HI) committee looking into charges of sexual harassment against national women's coach Maharaj Kishan Kaushik, Wednesday found the allegations against the Olympian weak and conspiratorial, looking at their timing.

Zafar said Ranjitha Devi, who Tuesday charged Kaushik of harassment with 30 of her fellow-players signing the letter, could not come out with cogent replies when questioned. Madhu Yadav, the manager of the team, was also present.

"The case is not strong. The girl's complaints were dicey. We have heard both the parties and we will decide on the outcome once we have the replies from both the parties. Kaushik has been the national coach of India since 1991 and many of us have played with him," Zafar told reporters after a meeting of the committee.

"I cannot rule out conspiracy as it is clashing with the (HI) elections. The girl says this is happening from the past six months, if so why is she coming out now? Also, when I asked whether she faced any physical harassment like touching, she denied it," Zafar said.

The five-member committee of Rajiv Mehta (chairman), Olympians Ajit Pal Singh and Zafar and Sudharsan Pathak, met both Kaushik and Ranjitha Wednesday afternoon to record their versions.

Kaushik and Ranjitha have been asked to make written submissions Thursday. These, along with the committee's findings, will be sent to the Sports Authority of India (SAI) for action Friday.

Pathak also concurred with Zafar.

"Kaushik has been deputed for his work by the government of India. He was doing well. There are no allegations against him in the last 10 years. The committee will look into the matter. We also need to verify the girl's claims as this has happened for the first time in Indian hockey," said Pathak.

HI secretary general Narinder Batra also said that the other girls in the team have denied facing a similiar incident.

"I spoke to the captain and she said the rest of the girls have not faced any such incident. But we want a free and a fair trial and I do not want to mix the elections with the girl's complaint," he said.

"We heard both the parties who have been asked to submit their replies by tomorrow (Thursday). HI will then send their recommendations to the Sports Authority of India Friday as both Kaushik and the videographer are the employees of SAI. Kaushik has resigned willingly and since it was addressed to the president, I forwarded it to the president," he said.

HI also sacked the videographer, M. Basavaraja, after photographs of him with a prostitute during an overseas tour, surfaced in the media.

The team left for Asian Champions Trophy in Busan, South Korea, Wednesday evening and Batra said he has spoken to the girls.

"I have spoken to the team and have tried to boost them before the Championships. They have promised to do well," he said.

The Times of India

 



Heart bleeds for the likes of Krishnamurthys

K. Arumugam

Real is unreal, unreal is real. This is what we happen to see in the last two years.

As each passing day the politics in the Indian hockey administration moves to another dismal low, honest people are getting marginalized.

One case in point is Krishnamurthy, who is Secretary of the Karnataka State Hockey Association.

He is former international umpire, who took volunteer retirement from services, and then devoted his time for the states hockey development.

KSHA had nothing much in its coffers when he took over a decade ago, which he transformed.

Today, the KSHA has a cash rich club house, four-storey building which houses fitness centre, guest house etc, that is, under his vision and mission, the organization has acquired properties and created regular cash flows.

Not even the parent body Hockey India or Indian Hockey Federation has any property, they survive because of government grants and support.

No other State Hockey Association has such a vibrant structure and functions – leagues are regular, this year it was held in two cities -- and do doubt the State contribute not less than six players for the national team every year.

Administratively, KSHA is also the best of the lot. Its AGM and election are held regularly, around 900 members vote in the election.

One man behind all such development the state body has seen in the last decade is none other than Krishanamurthy.

In my two-decade long association with hockey, I had seen two administrators in the whole country who contribute solidly to hockey; Krishnamurthy and Shiv Kumar Varma of Nehru Society.

Both come to their office dot in the morning, work till night as if they are under scrutiny of somebody superior in their organization.

I have not heard any single charge of corruption against Krishnamurthy so far.

We all understand with pain Krishnamurthy is not entitled to vote, his nomination for the Secretary Post has been rejected. His case is in the court, and the last word has not been said though.

Without going into the details, what one can fairly says is there is no room for honest people in the present day politics.

There is also another clear case of unreal wining over real ones.

Hockey India says that it will not take government help in running the sports therefore it is not bound by government’s guidelines.

This is another joke, another illusion, another act of perfidy.

Without government help these high talking people cannot even purchase single pair of shoes for the team.

Teams go to New Zealand and Argentina, as if these two places are next door, just because government money is there. Same people who enjoyed government purse and are still enjoying it now says they will run hockey without government support.

This is another real vs unreal issue.

Stick2Hockey.com



Women Hockey’s ‘Sex Scandal’: My perspective

K. Arumugam


A television channel published three photographs of Indian Women Hockey Team’s Videographer, showing him in compromising position with a semiclad lady. It claimed the lady in the image is a prostitute.

The channel claimed the photos were taken during the recent visit of Indian women team to China (India had a Japan-China tour in the April this year, and played 3 and 4 Test Matches, respectively) and that the women hockey affairs is murky.

The manner the issue was portrayed in the prime time news implicitly suggests that the many players in the team have had, and have, complaints vis-à-vis sexual harassment.

We also understand a women hockey player in the last month has complained to the Sports Ministry, Government of India, of her not being selected as the team management expected sexual favour for selection.

Though a section of judicious watchers wish to give more importance to the timing of the telecast (on the eve of Hockey India election) I don’t attach any importance to that angle.

First thing first.

In India, the type of social values being in vogue, mere accusation of sexual favour is sufficient to kill a person’s reputation in the society. Therefore, such issues become life and death for those concerned.

Practically speaking nobody bothers to know the truth, all are happy to live on hearsay and gossip, legal delivery system is so prolonged that it almost copy book case of delayed justice is denied justice.

Therefore, it is imperative to understand and underline the fact that even if the images shown can stand a scrutiny it needs to be established (a.): Is it an individual’s adventure or the whole team management on tour was like this, (b.): Is it right to colour the whole team based on a individual’s behaviour and (c.): Has this incident and the letter written by a player to the Ministry any link?

I have seen women teams on foreign soils more than any other Indian journalists in India.

I can vouch-safe for one thing: Present coach MK Kaushik is a disciplinarian, unwavering, and expects and exercises the same virtues from his support staff. He would have never brought those successful feats (Asia Cup wins, CWG fianls last time etc ) without these qualities. It is therefore unfortunate that he has been put in such an awkward situation wherein the whole team management’s behaviour is nationally looked upon with suspicion.

Second Point: My sympathies are with both the women hockey team as a whole and the team management in particular.

Women hockey sustains on poor base, players coming from 3, 4 pockets, the one thing that it does not need at this juncture is a bad publicity that will discourage girls’ parents to send their wards to hockey.

Women hockey’s achievements and feats, which are many, hardly get the type of visibility that it deserves; but this time Selection Vs Sexual Favours or joyous trip of a support staff will provide stuff for rumour mills and to wider audience, this will place women hockey as a whole in bad light.

At such a time the team has to play in the Asian Champions Trophy (next week), World Cup (next month) and Commonwealth Games (a month after World Cup), this national news is going to affect its preparedness both mentally and physically.

Therefore, I wonder why, and regret when, the women sport is passing through such bad pass as it does right now.

I wish and pray the team management and the women hockey players have enough courage to come out of this trauma.

Third Point: Indian women hockey team is selected by increasingly assertive ‘Selection Committee’ that consisted of stalwart Olympian like BP Govinda, ubiquitous Ajit Pal Singh, Col. Balbir Singh and women members Sita Gossain and Madhu Yadav who is also Manager, who accompanied the team in the tour in question. The women manager stays with the team during the camp, tour and practice, and is eye and ear of the Hockey India. Therefore, technically, administratively and for all practical purpose, no individual can select or discard a player. It is more so with chief coaches of India whose wings are often clipped by many (a. Selection Committee, b. Hockey India c.Vested Interests mostly one or two from the support staff) others. This is true of both men and women hockey.

Therefore, a girl being selected on sexual favour given or denied is one issue that needs to be taken with a pinch of salt.

Two years ago, a women hockey goalkeeper from Chandigarh even went to court before fading away.

I have personally come across situations where some girls used to hint such things, and often found out these are their habitual orientations, or knee jerk reaction to some imagined injustice meted out to them like one time drop or not playing in the playing eleven.

As Chak De India! Film made it known, the issues in the women hockey are far more complex and confusing that one can normally visualize.

There are incidents in the past even the Federation used the vexed ‘sex’ to get its unfavourable coaches removed!

The IWHF in the past, at least on one occasion, got its Olympian manager (it is unfortunate in Indian hockey annals a section of former Olympians will do anything the Federation ask them to do) – she said me once she was forced to – complain about the misconduct of coach (meaning misbehaviour with girls) to government of India just to get rid of a coach who was no longer in the good books of it.

Some coaches also did the same to get rid of male support staff.

A successful women coach in the northern part of India has another habit. Whenever his trainees were not selected, he will call up press and will try to plant x was not selected because the chief coach is in ‘aashiki’ (in love with) with the selected player.

If anyone cares to go through the archives of Sports Ministry, one can lay hand on letters written by some players and anonymous persons complaining of sexual harassment.

Therefore, bringing sex into the scheme of things in women hockey is not first time, nor it going to be last.

I expect everyone connected with hockey to exercise maximum caution and restraint before jumping to conclusion.

A proper inquiry, prompt action against the mis-doers on time are the prime requisites to save women hockey from the danger it has fallen right now.

Stick2Hockey.com



England deserved to win, says Germany coach

By Emily Benammar


Top of the world: England claimed their first Champions trophy medal in history in Nottingham Photo: ACTION IMAGES


Germany coach Michael Behrmann conceded that England were the better side in the Champions Trophy bronze medal play-off.

Despite going behind to Maike Stockel’s early strike, England dominated the 70 minutes and clinched the bronze medal thanks to second-half goals from Susie Gilbert and Crista Cullen.

It was the second time in the six-nation tournament that England had played Germany, with their round robin match sparking a degree of controversy after the visitors had an early goal disallowed following a referral to the video umpire.

Nonetheless, Behrmann admitted that in the medal play-off Danny Kerry's side had shown themselves to be a much improved team to the one they were 12 months ago.

"England were the better team and they deserved to win," he said. "We weren’t good enough to win a medal and of course I am unhappy with my team but we have to accept we were outplayed by the English.

"England put a lot of pressure on and had a lot of power on the pitch. The players couldn’t handle it and a lot of the time were slow and losing easy balls."

Asked if he had been surprised by England's turnaround over the last 12 months, Behrmann added: "No, I expected it.

"They started their programme six to eight months ago and you can see how it works and they are improving and lot spend a lot of time together now as a team. They're working hard and have a lot of potential in their team – it will be hard to beat them in the next tournament."

With the World Cup just under six weeks away, it is back to the drawing board for Behrmann who said he was not disappointed with the majority of the hockey his squad had played, but that there was definite room for improvements.

"I think we played four good matches but I was not satisfied with the game against New Zealand and of course the second match against England but I think we handled the loss of key players well," said Behrmann.

"We have to look at what went wrong. Everyone’s disappointed especially with the way we played against England. None of my players played 100 per cent but we will come back as a team.

The Telegraph