New Delhi: India's chief hockey coach Terry Walsh today sprang a surprise by resigning from his post because of a "pay dispute", barely three weeks after guiding the team to a historic gold medal in the Asian Games in Incheon.
The 60-year-old Australian, himself a noted Olympian, submitted his resignation in dramatic fashion, saying that he was finding it difficult to adjust to the decision making style of the sporting bureaucracy in the country.
"I hereby tender my resignation as the Chief Coach, Indian Men's Hockey Team, effective as per the details of my contract or as agreed to by all concerned parties," Walsh said in a letter sent to SAI Director General Jiji Thomson on October 19.
"I am finding considerable difficulty adjusting to the decision making style of the sporting bureaucracy in India which I believe, in the long term, is not in the best interests of Indian Hockey or it's players," said Walsh under whom India also won a silver in Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
It is, however, learnt that Walsh and some other support staff were having some issues with the government over TDS (Tax Deduction at Source) on their salaries.
Interestingly, Walsh also said that he would not like to continue with the top job on account of constant travelling with the team.
"In addition to my difficulties with not being able to professionally operate within these bureaucratic confines, I am not willing to continue with the constant time away from my family in Australia. My current commitment places too much stress on my personal life.
"Over the recent twelve month period I have become particularly attached to the playing group. In future years I would enjoy the prospect of retaining some involvement with the team and Indian Hockey," said the former Olympian who was part of Australia's silver winning team in 1976 Olympics.
Walsh thanked the SAI for giving him an opportunity to work as head coach of the team. "May I thank you for the honour and opportunity to have worked with an Indian National Program for the last twelve months. I wish the Sports Authority of India every success as it builds into and beyond the 2016 Olympic Games," he said.
In an e-mail circulated to the media, Hockey India President Narinder Batra said that Walsh had issues with the SAI over his contract. "Besides other issues he (Walsh) has issues with his contract with SAI, which now after his resignation expires on 19.11.2014," Batra said.
"We suggest if SAI can have a re-look at his contract before 19.11.2014 so that he may continue till Olympic 2016. We suggest for a meeting between SAI and Mr Walsh," he said.