Thursday, 18 August 2011 23:02
Eight Pakistani players have signed up for the ambitious World Series Hockey (WSH).
The Pakistan players, who will participate in this joint initiative between the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) and Nimbus Sport, are Rehan Butt, Zeeshan Ashraf, Mudassar Ali, Tariq Aziz, Adnan Maqsood, Waseem Ahmad, Syed Imran Warsi and Shakeel Abbasi.
The line up from Pakistan includes 3 former captains and a host of current players who have played over 1600 international matches amongst them.
The International Hockey Federation (FIH), however, still maintains that WSH continues to be a un-sanctioned league since it does not have the approval of the "recognised" national federation, Hockey India.
At the same time FIH has also stated that those players who have signed before 31 March 2011 with WSH will not be banned from participating in official national and international competitions.
Rehan Butt too had a few days back voiced his concerns about the lack of recognition for the event.
Those issues seem to have been sorted out and Butt, who will lead a team, says he is excited to be an integral part of the action. "I am honoured to be a captain of one of the teams. World Series Hockey will see a face off between the best international and Indian players and I am proud to be a part of this prestigious and highly anticipated event," said Rehan.
Nimbus Sport COO Yannick Colaco said, "The response from the players and members of the global hockey fraternity has been overwhelming. The top players from the international arena including Pakistan have signed contracts and the league is all geared up to enthral fans with a spectacular display of skill."
Nimbus states that the WSH will be held from 15 December to 22 January and will involve 176 leading players -- Indian and international -- who will showcase their talent in 61 matches. It will be a multi-city franchise-based League with players being allocated to the teams based on the internationally accepted and practised ‘draft’ system.
The inaugural edition of the league will comprise eight teams with matches across as many cities, six of which are Delhi, Punjab, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru. The remaining slots will go to two off Bhopal, Pune, Rourkela, Ranchi, Manipur, Lucknow and Kolkata.