Goalkeepers Bharat Chettri, Sreejesh, ace drag-flicker Sandeep Singh, Tushar Khandekar, Sardara Singh and rising star Yuvraj Walmiki certain their parent body Hockey India (HI) that they would not participate in the WSH, which is promoted by Nimbus Communications and the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF).
The players, who are presently on national duty in the Champions Challenge-I in South Africa, want the WSH to be postponed until the Olympic qualifiers that would be held here from February 15.
The letter issued by HI, which bears the signatures of all the six players, said that “We are not playing in the World Series Hockey event, and we will be attending the national camp in Delhi for the Olympic qualifiers on December 11, 2011, until February 2012. We will be available for selection in the national team for the Olympic qualifiers.”
The players said that “We signed the contract with World Series Hockey under the impression that WSH will not force us to play and ask us to leave the national camp. We play for our country, and that is a matter of honour and pride for us.”
IHF President RK Shetty said that the players haven’t approached them with any request. “The IHF haven’t received any request from the players. We don’t want to comment on what the HI is saying. It is a ploy to sabotage the WSH,” Shetty said.
Nimbus’ chief operating officer Yannick Colaco indicted Batra of pressurising the players. “HI and Mr. Batra has 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 said.
“As of now, we have received zero withdrawal, including all the Pakistani players. We have not heard anything from the six players. In fact, all the players have sent us the sizes and preferences for their kit,” he added.
On the other hand, Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has also asked its players to stay away from the WSH.