The shadowboxing between Hockey India and Nimbus over Indian players' participation in the World Series Hockey (WSH) intensified on Thursday with the former claiming that six more players had pulled out of the league starting Dec 17.
HI released another letter with the same text as the one issued on Wednesday, informing about the 'withdrawal' from the WSH of Danish Mujtaba, Rupinder Pal Singh, Chinglensana Singh, Manjeet Kullu, Birender Lakra and Manpreet Singh on Thursday, Nimbus raised questions over the authenticity of the letter.
On Wednesday, Sardar Singh, Sandeep Singh, Tushar Khandker, Yuvraj Walmiki, Bharat Chetri and PR Sreejesh had 'withdrawn' from the event. Sources close to WSH accused HI of threatening the players and taking their signatures on blank paper.
Nimbus COO, Yannick Colaco, flayed HI for its "pressure tactics", saying, "None of the players have informed us that they will not play. Three of the six players, who have allegedly 'signed' Wednesday's letter, told us last night that they are looking forward to playing in the WSH." He also questioned the veracity of the letter allegedly sent to HI when the contract was between Nimbus and the players.
WSH gets permission
There was something to cheer about for the WSH as the Sports Authority of India has given them permission to hold matches at the National Stadium.
"SAI has allowed us to use the facilities for the competition," Ashok Mathur secy-general, Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) said.