The World Series Hockey (WSH) faces an uncertain future after the organisers, Nimbus Sports, decided to postpone the event by two months due to uncertainty over the participation of Indian players ahead of the Olympic qualifiers.
The postponement came as a double blow for the organiser's parent company, Nimbus, who had their money spinning telecast right contract with the BCCI terminated for delayed payment on Monday.
Confirming this in a release on Monday, Nimbus Sport said the franchisee-based tournament would now be held between February 29 and April 1. However, Hockey India (HI) officials were quick to clarify that there was no guarantee of the national squad members being available on those dates if they correspond with their preparatory camps.
Nimbus and HI were locked in a tussle over the proposed league as the latter termed the tournament "unofficial" and had threatened to ban all those players who skipped the national camp for the event, originally scheduled between December 17 and January 22.
"The decision to adjust the dates was taken after a request made by the IHF (Indian Hockey Federation) to the organisers, Nimbus Sport, in this regard," the statement said.
IHF president RK Shetty insisted that the decision was taken in the interest of the players as HI was resorting to intimidation tactics.