Chris Ciriello quits as analytical coach of Indian men's hockey team

Chris Ciriello had joined the side in 2018 primarily for penalty corners but was soon an important part of the coaching staff.

Chris Ciriello has been suffering from extreme skin cirrhosis and is undergoing treatment.   -  BISWARANJAN ROUT

It's official. Chris Ciriello has become the third high-profile name to quit Indian hockey in a month, increasing the uncertainty around the men's national team and headaches for the federation.

Sportstar had first reported earlier this month that Australian Ciriello, the men's analytical coach, was unlikely to return due to health issues. On Sunday he formally sent in his resignation, citing the same.

READ: Hockey India struggles with coaching staff crunch

Ciriello had joined the side in 2018 primarily for penalty corners but was soon an important part of the coaching staff. The former World Cup winner has been suffering from extreme skin cirrhosis and is undergoing treatment. The rising cases of COVID-19 in the country also played a role in his decision.

READ: Hockey Pro League restart will help India study European teams

With less than a year to go for Tokyo Olympics, Hockey India is struggling with loss of personnel from the men's coaching staff. In fact, the team only has coach Graham Reid and trainer Robin Arkell left at the SAI Centre, Bengaluru, besides Shivendra Singh and Piyush Dubey as assistant coaches.

Sources admit wary foreigners unwilling to travel and the continued de-recognition has added to the federation's troubles.

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