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Coach Nobbs ready to delay national camp

Sources claim coach has requested Hockey India to postpone camp to January so that national players can feature in inaugural World Series Hockey

India hockey coach Michael Nobbs, it is learnt, is ready to delay the national camp scheduled by Hockey India for December 11 to sometime in January for the benefit of those national players, who wish to take part in the inaugural franchise-based World Series Hockey to be played in eight cities from December 17 to January 12.


For the players: India hockey coach Michael Nobbs

According to one senior India player, the Australian was ""very understanding and accommodating" when the players approached him in South Africa during the recent Champions Challenge tournament requesting him to help them in the ongoing tussle between Hockey India and the organisers of the Indian Hockey Federation-promoted WSH.

Hockey India is said to have deliberately brought forward the camp, originally scheduled for January 24, in order to disrupt the WSH. Most of the national players however have signed up for the million dollar league and are keen top play in it. "Most of the Indian players met up with Nobbs individually and explained to him that they wanted to play in the WSH as the money would benefit them, since hockey players are not well paid anyway.

Besides, they also explained to him that the duration of the camp (December 11 to January 15) was too long anyway," a national team player told MiD DAY on condition of anonymity. Nobbs, it is learnt, was in agreement with his players and also suggested to Hockey India that the camp be postponed to the first week of January.

"The idea behind this suggestion is that though some of the dates ill still coincide with those of WSH, not many national players will be affected, as by that time, WSH will be in its finishing stages and only a couple of teams will be left in the fray anyway. Nobbs also agreed to later accommodate those players featuring in the final stages of the WSH into the national camp later on," added the player.

Hockey India secretary Narinder Batra is believed to have met India captain Bharat Chhetri in this regard, however there is no official word from coach Nobbs or Batra yet.

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