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The ball is now in Walsh’s court, says SAI

Terry Walsh

New Delhi, Nov 19 (PTI) With Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal agreeing in principle to Terry Walsh’s demands, the ball is now in the Australian’s court to take a call on whether to continue as India’s chief hockey coach and the SAI expects him to make up his mind in the next 4-5 days.

In a major setback for Indian hockey, the men’s national team chief coach Walsh yesterday decided to fly back to Australia after his contractual talks with Hockey India and his employer, Sports Authority of India (SAI) broke down.

Walsh, however, insisted that he might rejoin the team before the Champions Trophy and was waiting to receive and study a fresh proposal in the next two days.

But SAI Executive Director (Teams) Sudhir Sethia ruled out sending Walsh any fresh proposal and said they are now waiting to hear from the Australian’s side.

“He met the Sports Minister yesterday and the minister has agreed to all his demands in principle. But he said he wants to go home for a few days. He said he needs a break,” Sethia told.

“We are not going to send any fresh proposal to him. Everything has been discussed in detail. Now he will have to get back to us.

“He said he will have a re-look at the proposal once he returns to Australia and get back to us with 4-5 days. The ball is in his court now. It is now upto him whether he wants to continue or not,” said Sethia, mincing no words.

Walsh, who replaced fellow Australia Michael Nobbs as India’s chief coach in October last year, had resigned from his post last month, demanding more autonomy and decision making powers.

The Australian’s month-long notice period ends today but he left for Perth without signing a fresh contract after talks between him, SAI and HI failed to make any breakthrough.

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