Ric Charlesworth is not a happy man. It's not hard to figure out why. On his way to the National Stadium on Tuesday, the Aussie coach of the Mumbai Magicians learnt that the Pakistan players were being shunted out of the inaugural edition of the HIL.
“Some of the best players in the world and you are sending away before the first match… I’m totally disappointed, as are all the players,” he said ahead of his team’s opener on Wednesday here against the Delhi Waveriders. With four Pakistan players in their ranks, Charlesworth’s side is the worst affected.
Interestingly, Delhi coach Ajay Bansal asked his two Pakistan players — Muhammad Rizwan Sr & Jr — not to come for the pre-match practice. Exclaiming that sport gets diminished when mixed with prejudice, Charlesworth said, “It says a lot about how things work in India… I’m a visitor to this country, I can’t do anything to resolve the situation.
But I’ve spent my youth protesting against apartheid, and philosophically, I’m against what has happened here.”
The Aussie also rued the lack of a replacement policy. “Replacements won’t happen in an instant, and even if we get them before our first match in Mumbai (on January 20), we won’t get to practice enough.”