New Zealand striker Simon Child has pulled out of the FIH World Cup starting later this week though the other members of the team will be arriving in New Delhi early on Tuesday.
Hockey New Zealand (HNZ) on Monday confirmed that the Black Sticks Men’s team will be leaving Perth, Australia where it was stationed after a two-game series against the hosts awaiting orders from the federation, for India later on Monday.
The 21-year-old Child, who has represented New Zealand in 117 matches, has made a personal decision to return to New Zealand, a decision that the federation fully respects. “A replacement for Simon is being worked on, but cannot be confirmed yet,” HNZ said in a release on Monday.
HNZ confirmed the team’s participation after assessing the advice received from the New Zealand government and an independent security advisor, with regard to the security arrangements that will be in place for the team in India. “The details we have received has reassured us that the required level of security is in place, therefore we have kept the team in the tournament” the release quoted HNZ CEO Hilary Poole as saying.
She said, security to team while they are in India will be provided by the International Services Liaison Group (ISLG), which is responsible for both Hockey World Cup and Commonwealth Games security arrangements.
“We have been working diligently with the Black Sticks Team over the past few days to give each player enough information to make their own informed decision,” says Poole.
The release also quoted Black Sticks Men’s Coach, Shane McLeod, as saying that his focus is to keep the team on track for the World Cup.
“Our build up has been comprehensive, and we’ve tested our strengths and weaknesses against Australia in Perth. While the past few days have been trying for the players, they’ve come through it and they are hungry to take on the best in the world next week,” said McLeod.