The proposed World Series Hockey suffered another big blow on Thursday, with six more players seeking to withdraw from it. A day earlier, six Indian players had written to Hockey India stating that they would participate in the national camp for the Olympics qualifiers at the expense of the World Series Hockey.
Thursday saw six more players – Birender Lakra, Manjeet Kullu, Rupinder Pal Singh, Danish Mujtaba, K Chinglensana Singh and Manprit Singh – write to Hockey India secretary Narinder Batra, apparently stating that they had parted ways with WSH.
“We are writing to you to advise that we are not playing in the World Series Hockey event and that we will be attending the national camp in Delhi for the Olympic Qualifiers in Delhi on December 11 until February 2012 and we will be available for selection in the National team for the Olympic qualifiers,” the players wrote in the signed letter.
“We signed the contract with World Series Hockey under the impression that WSH will not force us to play and ask us to leave for the national camp. We play for our country and that is a matter of honour and pride for us,” they added.
The players included an appeal to WSH to postpone their tournament after the qualifiers “in the national interest”. The league is scheduled to begin from December 17.
WSH organisers said they have not received communication from the players. “We have received no withdrawal. All those who have signed up will play. We have not heard anything from these players,” Yannick Colaco, chief operating officer of Nimbus Sport, said.
Colaco had accused Batra of pressurising Indian players to stop them from taking part in the event. “HI and Mr Batra have been employing all methods to stop players from playing in WSH. In fact, a player told me that Batra is threatening them to withdraw from WSH or else they can’t play for India,” he alleged. “It’s unfortunate to see how some people are trying their level best to create an air of uncertainty about the event.”