Triumph and Trauma of a Coach
M. K. Kaushik with K. Arumugam
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|The only time that India beat Pakistan twice in a
tournament was in the 1989 Marshals Cup in Nairobi. With Mark Patterson in
the goal, India beat Pakistan first in the league, and then in the final through
The only time that India beat the same country twice in the 40-year history of Asian Games hockey was in the 1998 Asiad, when India beat South Korea 2-1 in the league phase and 5-3 (tie-breaker) in the final.
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s winning a tournament through a tie-breaker a sin? Was it occuring for the first time in world sport?
When Germany won the 1994 Football World Cup, beating Argentina in the final through the tie-breaker, did anybody in Germany belittle the success?
When Pakistan won the 1994 Hockey World Cup, beating defending champion Holland in the final through the tie-breaker, nobody in Pakistan bemoaned the success achieved by Shahbaz Ahmad's boys in Sydney.
Five of the last eight Champions Trophy finals were decided through tie-breakers. Did the winning federations consider such success unworthy, or did they say so in public and degrade their teams?
How did India lose the final of the 1973 World Cup in Amsterdam? In the tie-breaker. Our country would have gone mad had we won that nerve-wracking final.
In the 1994 Sydney World Cup, India, with Subbaiah in the goal, beat Argentina in the tie-breaker in the 5th - 8th place playoffs. India ultimately came fifth and qualified for the 1995 Champions Trophy after a woeful gap of six years. If that was only a tie-breaker win, why did Gill find it fit to bring a bhangra party to his garden to celebrate the victory?
Between the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, when the Hockey Rules Board scrapped extra-time, and the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, when extra-time in the form of the golden goal was restored, most of the major titles were decided on tie-breakers. Will Gill say that those victories were not worth the encomiums they received?
The only time that India beat Pakistan twice in a tournament was in the 1989 Marshal Memorial Cup in Nairobi. With Mark Patterson in the goal, India beat Pakistan first in the league, and then in the final through a tie-breaker. Bombay star Patterson created a world record of sorts when he blocked all four strokes of Pakistan in the tie-breaker.
The only time that India beat the same country twice in the 40-year history of Asian Games hockey was in the 1998 Asiad, when India beat South Korea 2-1 in the league phase and 5-3 (tie-breaker) in the final. South Korea was the defending champion when we beat them twice in Bangkok. Did this double success come by fluke? Or luck?
India's Tie-Breaker Victories in the Past Decade - Are They Non-Events?
|1988||Seoul Olympics||5-8 Place||Argentina||Mark Patterson|
|1989||Marshal Memorial Cup||Final||Pakistan||Mark Patterson|
|1991||Olympic Qualifier||Semi-Final||New Zealand||Ashish Ballal|
|1993||Vienna Cup||Final||Austria||Ashish Ballal|
|1994||Sydney World Cup||5-8 Place||Argentina||A. B. Subbaiah|
|1995||Indira Cup||Semi-Final||England||A. B. Subbaiah|
|1995||Champions Trophy||5-6 Place||England||A. B. Subbaiah|
|1995||Azlan Shah Cup||Final||Germany||A. B. Subbaiah|
|1998||Bangkok Asian Games||Final||South Korea||Ashish Ballal|
What was our standing in 1998? A worst-ever 8th in the 1996 Olympics, a deplorable 9th in the 1998 World Cup, and not qualified for the Champions Trophy since the 1996 edition which we hosted.
In contrast, what was the standing of South Korea? It was ranked three rungs above us, and two rungs above Pakistan in the world order. The same South Korean team we beat went all the way to the 1999 Champions Trophy final.
With this backdrop, if what we achieved in Bangkok was not epoch making, that what is? Nothing came by fluke, despite what Gill and his coterie wish it make it out to be. Don't preach sitting in your ivory tower, Gill.
The IHF rolled out reels of fallacy after fallacy for public consumption. We were told the Asian Games hockey title came against 'weak teams'. Then we heard that the Asiad hockey tournament was a 'minor event'. Then came the realization that the victory came 'via a tie-breaker'.
In that glitz and blitz, the truth got twisted, my coaching career tumbled and the senior players' fortune nose-dived. The chief mourner is Indian hockey. For in the first nine months of 1999, India managed to win only 8 out of 29 matches, an all-time dismal record.
Under K. P. S. Gill, the Chief Mourner is Indian Hockey