Press Esc to close
Friday 06 March 2015
News updated at 2:32 AM IST
Weather
Max: 31.7°C
Min : 16.9°C
In Bengaluru
clear sky

Tension along border stings hockey league

Bangalore:Jan 14, 2013, DHNS
Hindu Sena activists protesting against Pakistan during the Delhi Waveriders and Punjab Warriors inaugural match of Hockey India League at Major Dhyanchand Stadium in New Delhi on Monday. PTI

As tension simmers on the India-Pakistan border in Kashmir, the presence of players from across the border in the Hockey India League has come into sharp focus, especially after the disruption of the Mumbai franchise’s training session by Shiv Sena workers on Sunday and a pitch invasion by a couple of protesters during the inaugural match in New Delhi on Monday.

Nine Pakistan players are part of the Hockey India League that began with a match between Delhi Waveriders and Punjab Warriors in New Delhi on Monday. Coming immediately after the visit of the Pakistan cricket team, the league featuring players from that country was expected to boost relations between the two countries.

But the incidents on the border have placed the event in a different light, with many even questioning the propriety of having them here while a similar, higher profile sporting venture—cricket’s Indian Premier League—remains out of bounds for Pakistan players. The Mumbai franchise, named the Mumbai Magicians, were unable to train at its home city on Sunday thanks to the Sainiks’ intervention and quickly shifted its session to New Delhi on Monday. The Mumbai team has four players from Pakistan—Mahmood Rashid, Fareed Ahmad, Mohammad Tousiq and Imran Butt—and coach Ric Charlesworth felt it would have been meaningless to hold a training session with these players crucial in his scheme of things.

The Pakistan players feature in four of the five teams that are part of the inaugural Hockey India League — Mohammad Rizwan Sr, Mohammad Rizwan Jr (Delhi Waveriders), Kashif Shah (Punjab Warriors), Shafaq Rasool, Mohammad Irfan (Ranchi Rhinos). Uttar Pradesh Wizards are the only team without Pakistani representation.

Concerns over their safety have been expressed in many quarters after the Mumbai incident.  On Monday, during the inaugural match, two youngsters, said to be from an outfit identified as Hindu Yuvak Sabha, invaded the pitch shouting anti-Pakistan slogans. The teams figuring in the inaugural match had, however, refrained from fielding their Pakistani recruits.

The Pakistan Hockey Federation has said it was not worried about the scenario. “I am not at all worried. Everything is normal, there are no security concerns. I have talked ti HI officials and they have assured me that foolproof security will be provided to Pakistani players,” PHF secretary Asif Bajwa said.

“There are certain elements who are doing all these things to disrupt the relations between India and Pakistan.”

But echoes of the Mumbai protest are already being heard in New Delhi with Hockey India’s rival, the Indian Hockey Federation, coming out openly against Pak players participation.


Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Rajnath Singh celebrates Holi with Delhi BJP Chief Satish Upadhyay and party leader Vijay Goel...

Rajnath Singh celebrates Holi with Delhi BJP Chief Satish Upadhyay and party leader Vijay Goel...

Hema Malini reacts as an MP smears Gulal on her forehead ahead of Holi celebrations...

Hema Malini reacts as an MP smears Gulal on her forehead ahead of Holi celebrations...

People sing and dance while celebrating Holi, the Festival of Colours, in Kathmandu...

People sing and dance while celebrating Holi, the Festival of Colours, in Kathmandu...

Narendra Modi being presented with the autographed tennis racquets of Leander Paes and Martina...

Narendra Modi being presented with the autographed tennis racquets of Leander Paes and Martina...

Widows daubed in colours chant religious hymns as they take part in the Holi celebrations...

Widows daubed in colours chant religious hymns as they take part in the Holi celebrations...

Tourists celebrate Holi in Jodhpur on Wednesday...

Tourists celebrate Holi in Jodhpur on Wednesday...

A child during Holi celebration in Alipurduar on Thursday...

A child during Holi celebration in Alipurduar on Thursday...

Stranded trucks wait for the re-opening of the Jammu-Srinagar highway, at Nandni near Jammu...

Stranded trucks wait for the re-opening of the Jammu-Srinagar highway, at Nandni near Jammu...

Tennis star and ambassador of Earth Hour 2015, Sania Mirza signs a poster during a press meet...

Tennis star and ambassador of Earth Hour 2015, Sania Mirza signs a poster during a press meet...

People watching the wreckage of the Jaguar fighter aircraft...

People watching the wreckage of the Jaguar fighter aircraft...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523