2013 women's world cup, hockey india league, hil, women's world cup mumbai
-File photo by AFP

NEW DELHI: Nine Pakistani players who signed up for a new field hockey league in India were withdrawn from the event after a flare-up along the border that reports suggest could also affect the women's cricket World Cup being held in the country.

None of the Pakistanis featured in the opening match of the Hockey India League (HIL) in New Delhi on Monday and officials said they will not take part in the entire four-week event.

“Due to extraordinary circumstances, it has been decided to send the nine Pakistan players home,” Hockey India chief and the league's main organiser Narinder Batra told reporters in New Delhi.

Trouble began on Sunday in Mumbai when the city’s franchise, which had enrolled four Pakistanis, was forced to cancel a practice session after protests from the right-wing nationalist Shiv Sena party.

The entire squad, coached by Australian Ric Charlesworth, shifted base to New Delhi as league organisers speculated if Mumbai could host the six matches allotted to it, the first one scheduled for January 20.

Tensions between India and Pakistan were heightened last week by a series of cross-border exchanges in disputed Kashmir in which four soldiers were killed.

Meanwhile, media reports on Tuesday said some of women's cricket World Cup matches, scheduled to be played in Mumbai from January 31 to February 17, could be shifted due to Pakistan's participation.

The Pakistani women are due to play three matches in the preliminary league of the eight-nation event and at least another four if they advance to the second round.

India’s Zee News said in a report, “with growing unease in the city with regard to Pakistani sportspersons, the BCCI has chosen Ahmedabad as an alternate venue for the Pakistan matches.”

“We have decided to write to the ICC to explain the situation here. After that, they will take a call on whether to change the venue or persist with it,” a top BCCI official said after the Board's Working Committee meeting here on Tuesday.

There was no immediate comment from the International Cricket Council on the report.

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Comments (10)

January 15, 2013 2:36 pm
January 15, 2013 3:58 pm
For a country that claims to be a democracy, the Indian government is the most paranoid outfit I can imagine. Really, you are threatened by female hockey players? What next, banning the chess team?
January 15, 2013 4:19 pm
If terror attacks happened when you play Women World Cup 2013 big event you is responsible is BCCI or board selection please shift the matches to India it request we want players to be safe Pakistan is not safe country
January 15, 2013 4:39 pm
No harm in wishfull thinking whether its in your name or in your observations!
January 16, 2013 5:07 pm
FYI the wc is not being held in pk :)
Muhammad Asif
January 16, 2013 10:15 am
Secular india???
Pakistani ppl
January 16, 2013 4:59 am
he BCCI has chosen Ahmedabad as an alternate venue for the Pakistan matches... How smart.. what a choice... Gujarat is the state that officially helped killing over 4,000 Muslim women and children and BCCI thinks it is safer for Muslim women to play there. Pakistan should get out of this sham tourney.
January 16, 2013 5:00 am
hummmm.... too bad they cant WITHDRAW the entire cricket team from the tournament. I think International Sports Associations should refrain from holding mega events in places where another team is not welcome. Creates problems for hosts as well as guests. Besides it leads to bad publicity of the event as well.
January 16, 2013 2:45 pm
There is a small correction. It was 400000, not 4000 as you mentioned.
January 16, 2013 8:10 am
This is the burden of democracy. You must listen the voice of the majority. Pakistan has to pay the price.
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