Barely days after the teams were announced for the World Series Hockey, six big players have pulled out of the series. All the six, Sandeep Singh, Bharat Chetri, Sardar Singh, Yuvraj Walmiki, Tushar Khandekar and Sreejesh are part of the Indian team that is currently gearing up to play Malaysia in the quarter-finals of the Champions Challenge in South Africa.
The pull-out will come as a setback to World Series Hockey. Hockey India’s warning that they will not be part of the national team set-up may have pushed them away from the WSH. The WSH is a co-sanctioned tournament of the Indian Hockey Federation and Nimbus Sport.
Sardara Singh was appointed captain the Bhopal franchise which also has Khandekar in its squad; Chetri is in Chennai’s line-up, Sandeep and Sreejesh in Chandigarh while Walmiki had been picked by Mumbai.
The media is already playing this up as the rebel series. It would be interesting to see how the other players respond to the pull-out by these six. In the letter sent to Hockey India, all the six confirm they would be joining the national camp and also request the World Series Hockey to postpone the league till after the Olympic Qualifiers.