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Six Indians for Pakistan hockey league
August 24, 2005 17:17 IST
The Indian Hockey Federation has cleared the participation of six players for Pakistan's inaugural Super League, which is to be played in Karachi under floodlights from September 8 to 18.
The IHF has thus reciprocated PHF's gesture of releasing their top players for India's Premier Hockey league, the inaugural edition of which was held in Hyderabad last year.
Following IHF's go-ahead, captain Dilip Tirkey, goalkeeper Adrian D'Souza, striker Gagan Ajit Singh, drag flicker Sandeep Singh, midfielder Viren Rasquinha and forward Arjun Halappa will leave for Pakistan on September 5, according to IHF sources.
The participation of Indian players was under a cloud after IHF said it wanted its players to concentrate on preparations for the Champions Trophy, to be held in Chennai from December 8 to 18.
"But IHF was duty-bound to send its players since it did not want to upset Pakistan which had sent top players including Sohail Abbabs for the PHL in Hyderabad," the sources said.
"Also, there was the fear that if Indian players were not released, Pakistan could retaliate by not sending its players for the second edition of PHL," they added.
However, the IHF is yet to take a decision on whether to allow Gagan Ajit and Tirkey for the Dutch League, which kicks-off on September 28.
The duo is very keen to play for top Dutch club Klien Zwitzerland, which also boasts of some of the biggest names in Holland hockey, including penalty-corner expert Taeke Taekma.
"The Indians would get a handsome remuneration if they get to play in the Dutch League. Talks have not broken down as yet but at the same time nothing is confirmed also," they said.
"The Indian team's performance in Rabo Trophy has acted as a dampener and the club is now thinking twice before giving contracts to the Indian players.
However, even if the Indians do get a contract to play for the club, they would be spared only for a brief period next year as the IHF wants them to concentrate on the Champions Trophy."
As far as the Pakistan Super League is concerned, one Indian player would be included in each of the six teams in the tournament, which has been basically designed on the lines of the PHL.
The teams have been named Sindh Qalandars, Shan-E-Punjab, Frontier Falcons, Baloch Lions, Northern Cavaliers and Capital Dynamos.
The decision on which player would be fielded in which team would be taken by the PHF after taking into account the requirements of the team.
Though the format and the innovative rule of four quarters will remain the same, the PHF has struck out the time-out aspect from the tournament. There would be 18 matches in all, 15 to be played on single league basis and three classification matches.