N. Mukesh Kumar takes over as secretary of Telangana Hockey

Mukesh says he had to accept responsibility in view of the Junior Nationals being awarded to Hyderabad.

Triple Olympian N. Mukesh Kumar at Gymkhana Ground, Hyderabad, during a recent tournament. - V. V. SUBRAHMANYAM

In a surprise development, triple Olympian and renowned right-winger of yesteryears N. Mukesh Kumar has taken over again as secretary of Telangana Hockey.

This comes in the wake of the resignation of the incumbent and former national player Alphonse Lazarus following differences with president Saral Talwar. He was secretary earlier before quitting the post since he could not devote enough time and do justice to it.

The 51-year-old Mukesh informed Sportstar on Thursday that he had to accept the responsibility again as the majority of the members of the State Association needed someone like him at the helm because of the Junior Nationals - scheduled for November/December this year - being allotted to Hyderabad.

“I have nothing personal against anyone in the Association. I am back in the post for the sake of the game and give it a new direction,” he said.

'Need to mobilise resources'

“Since the Junior Nationals for men featuring 30 teams involves a massive expenditure of about ₹70 lakhs and even though Hockey India also chips in with substantial amount, we still need to mobilise resources to fill the gap. So, many thought it would be better if I take up the position again,” he explained.

“Yes, in this regard, we have already met the Telangana Sports Minister V. Srinivas Goud today morning and briefed about the need to support Telangana Hockey in this regard. His response was very positive,” Mukesh said.

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The former India captain also said once he completes the balance of the secretary’s tenure, he is ready for elections as and when they happen.

Interestingly, Alphonse, whose four-year tenure was to end in May 2023, was not happy with the “indifferent treatment” meted out to him consistently on important issues. “Since I felt unwanted in the association, I thought it is better to put in the papers rather than being humiliated further,” said Alphonse, who interestingly played four Senior Nationals with Mukesh when the latter made an early impact as a teenager.

“Unfortunately, the members forgot that more than a year of my tenure (took charge in May 2019) saw the pandemic disrupting the whole schedule. Yet, I can proudly say that I have conducted inter-district championships for different age groups and also for girls,” said a visibly disappointed Alphonse.

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