Hockey India League: Pakistani players sent packing as tensions soar

Published: January 15, 2013
Trouble began on Sunday in Mumbai when the city's franchise, which had enrolled four Pakistanis, was forced to cancel a practice session.

Trouble began on Sunday in Mumbai when the city's franchise, which had enrolled four Pakistanis, was forced to cancel a practice session.

NEW DELHI: Nine Pakistani players who had signed up to play in the Hockey India League (HIL) were sent home as a result of a flare-up along the Pakistan-India border, reported Express News.

Officials of the hockey league said that the players will be paid as promised but cannot be allowed to play due to rising tension.

None of the Pakistanis featured in the opening match of the Hockey India League (HIL) in New Delhi on Monday, and officials declined to comment when asked if they will play in the four-week event.

Reports suggest that the border flare-up could also affect the women’s cricket World Cup.

Trouble began on Sunday in Mumbai when the city’s franchise, which had enrolled four Pakistanis, was forced to cancel a practice session after protests from the right-wing nationalist Shiv Sena party.

The entire squad, coached by Australian Ric Charlesworth, shifted base to New Delhi as league organisers speculated if Mumbai could host the six matches allotted to it, the first one scheduled for January 20.

“I have no idea what will happen, but it will not be easy to play the matches in Mumbai if the Pakistanis are there,” Mumbai Hockey Association official Ram Singh told AFP.

The 34-match HIL, sanctioned by the sport’s world governing body, features top stars from around the world who will play for five city-based franchises till February 10.

The cities in the fray are New Delhi, Mumbai, Lucknow, Ranchi and Jalandhar.

Tensions between India and Pakistan were heightened last week by a series of cross-border exchanges in disputed Kashmir in which four soldiers were killed. India says that one of its soldiers was beheaded.

Meanwhile, media reports on Tuesday said the women’s cricket World Cup, scheduled to be played in Mumbai from January 31 to February 17, could be affected due to Pakistan’s participation.

The Pakistani women are due to play three matches in the preliminary league of the eight-nation event and at least another four if they advance to the second round.

The Indian Express newspaper quoted unnamed sources as saying Pakistan’s matches could be moved to Ahmedabad, which last month hosted a one-day international between the men’s teams of the two nations.

There was no immediate comment from the International Cricket Council on the report.

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Reader Comments (26)

  • Vikas
    Jan 15, 2013 - 3:57PM

    Kick out the Pakistani players as well. Hoping not to see any of them in IPL too.


  • Karim Javed
    Jan 15, 2013 - 4:32PM

    @Vikas: Nice decision stop our player to play IPL as well. We don’t want short format players we create long term players and quality test players. After Ganguly, Sachin and Dravid which player you have produced :) instead of playing more test matches than Pakistan and most of the series you play are home. Still better ranking in Test cricket than you.


  • ahmed41
    Jan 15, 2013 - 4:35PM

    This ( behaviour) is not “CRICKET” at all


  • Adnan
    Jan 15, 2013 - 4:39PM

    whatever you Indians do you will never ever have quality players let alone the quality team…


  • Afaaq
    Jan 15, 2013 - 4:52PM

    You need 1000 season of IPL more to win from Pakistan. we are in no need of your Fabricated IPL.


  • Akshay, India
    Jan 15, 2013 - 5:08PM

    Very shameful that law and order could not be maintained.


  • Ryan
    Jan 15, 2013 - 5:20PM

    This had to be done to ensure the safety of Pakistani players. Please do not make an issue out of this. Please restrain yourself from making provocative remarks against each other. There are some unsocial elements which are trying to derail the peace process. We the common people need to be strong and wipe out these fundamentalists thinkers from both sides across the border.


  • Saad
    Jan 15, 2013 - 5:23PM

    Never mention “Aman Ki Asha” moving forward. enough is enough.


  • Raj
    Jan 15, 2013 - 5:47PM

    Cool down, at least behave with some decency. We should be treating each individual with respect till he is proven guilty of any mischief.

    @ET Admin Team – It was not necessary to print Vikas’s comments. You guys at times filter lot of valid comments, but allowed this individual jibe to Pakistanis. What’s your plan?


  • Confused
    Jan 15, 2013 - 5:48PM

    so now we whoop them in hockey too? The cricket bashing has left a sour taste with the pitch diggers from Maharashtra


  • Jan 15, 2013 - 5:52PM

    I think this should not have happened. Especially after they were ready to play match.

    Not giving visas is one thing, but not allowing to play after they coming here is not what a good host does.


  • ABKhan
    Jan 15, 2013 - 5:52PM

    Hoping not to see any Pakistani and trolling whole day on a Pakistani news website…lol……..I feel sorry for you


  • raj786
    Jan 15, 2013 - 6:23PM

    @kareem i agreed wth u. N i thk that we should nt include game in tention. Player should be playing the games . They r nothing to do with war or conflicy.yesterday i missed my fav pak player in delhi ho key math


  • raj786
    Jan 15, 2013 - 6:25PM

    @abkhan good1 :)


  • abhi
    Jan 15, 2013 - 7:59PM

    very unfortunate!
    I think we need to go slowly on this CBM process. There are many stakeholders who are not very happy (Mumbai attack and now the border incident). Until we can neutralize these elements or bring them on board, we have to very cautious with CBMs.


  • blue jersey indian
    Jan 15, 2013 - 8:18PM

    This is so embarassing, we being a democratic country should neverrrrr have done this.Our actions are not justified because we invited them here and they were our guests.Not allowing them to take part in nxt league onwards was understandable BUT THIS is totally against OUR culture


  • blue jersey indian
    Jan 15, 2013 - 8:24PM

    Then why did we invite them in the first placce???


  • Amer
    Jan 15, 2013 - 8:48PM

    I really beginning to call myself crazy for believing in peace or at least sporting relations with the Indians. They could have changed the venue or controlled their radicals but I guess if we can’t control our radicals on this side of the border they can’t do that on the other side either. Every time we take a step forward in the right direction, it seems like, both countries run back to war again.


  • Vikas
    Jan 15, 2013 - 8:53PM

    There has been 24 likes to my comment. Who are you, Supreme Court of Pakistan? What’s wrong in my demands?


  • Vikas
    Jan 15, 2013 - 8:54PM

    I get paid to do that. :-)


  • Sam
    Jan 15, 2013 - 8:55PM

    Tahnk you Vikas for you warm welcome.


  • Asad
    Jan 15, 2013 - 9:21PM

    imagine if any islamic party had done this in Pakistan.


  • Replied
    Jan 15, 2013 - 10:07PM

    You have so soon forgotent what happened to the Sri Lankan cricket team in Pakistan.


  • Blithe
    Jan 16, 2013 - 12:28AM

    India needs to overcome this little man syndrome.
    Feel sorry of them…


  • waqas
    Jan 16, 2013 - 12:30PM

    Recently Shatrughan Sinha and Juhi Chawla visited Pakistan, how we welcomed them and treat them and how the Indians (with small hearts as Afridi has said earlier) treated the Pakistani Hockey Players!


  • Bint
    Jan 20, 2013 - 9:12AM

    Please don’t spoil the game of hockey. We deserve to see the best of players and best of hockey. Common man is same and our interests are being made scapegoat of political nonsense

    Politicians have only spoiled our countries and if anybody needs to be kicked out, its them.

    Delhi Police as usual is incapable. Doesn’t have the willingness to take responsibility of keeping guests safe and hooligans behind the bar


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