'Why obsess over foreign coaches?' ask CWG stalwarts Akhil, Moraad

While insisting that they were not against the hiring of foreign coaches per se, Akhil Kumar, Moraad Ali Khan and Zafar Iqbal said that there needed to be a clear policy and vision for the purpose of hiring them.

Akhil Kumar (second right) saw nothing wrong in men’s chief coach S.R. Singh and his women’s team counterpart Shiv Singh being left out of the CWG contingent. (File Photo)   -  PTI

Akhil Kumar, one of only five Indian boxers to win a CWG gold, questioned the obsession with foreign coaches and was supported by 2002 gold-winning trap shooter Moraad Ali Khan and former hockey captain Zafar Iqbal, at a function organised here, on Tuesday.

While insisting that they were not against the hiring of foreign coaches per se, the former stars, nevertheless, said that there needed to be a clear policy and vision for the purpose of hiring them. “I am not against hiring foreign coaches, but it should not be at the expense of talent which is your own and which is as good. If the foreign coaches are so good, why are they not employed at the sub-junior level? Let them shape youngsters. If I come into the national camp after winning the national title, am I not an almost finished product given to them?” Akhil said at the event organised to send good wishes to the Indian contingent by the Games’ official broadcaster Sony TV.

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Moraad agreed. “Why should a foreign coach be paid more than an Indian coach of the same calibre? Why is this discrimination? There is no sound logic for it,” he said, while Zafar added that while the calibre of foreign coaches must be assessed before appointments, it was also important to know how well they fit into the Indian set-up.

Akhil also stressed the need to employ young coaches instead of persisting with the retired ones, who are past their prime. “Retired coaches, who are past their prime, are still working on the young athletes. We should encourage young coaches in India. They are the ones who know the system and realities of sport inside out. We shouldn’t allow foreign experts to dictate to us,” he said. Former discus thrower Krishna Poonia was also present on the occasion.