Mumbai Magicians shift base to Delhi over Shiv Sena threat
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The Mumbai Magicians team, which is part of the Hockey India League, was shifted to Delhi this morning, following the Shiv Sena protest that disrupted its practise session due to the involvement of Pakistani players.
"It was decided to shift the team to Delhi. They left by the early morning flight," Hockey India Associate Joint Secretary Manoj Bhore told PTI.
Over 100 Shiv Sena workers had yesterday afternoon protested against the participation of four Pakistani players in the Mumbai franchise and had disrupted the scheduled practise session.
In all, there are nine players contracted to play in the six-team Hockey India League, and Mumbai Magicians, a franchise of the league, has signed up Pakistani players Mahmood Rashid, Fareed Ahmed, Muhammad Tousiq and Imran Butt. The Mumbai team is scheduled to play its first match against Delhi in the Capital on January 16. Their first home match in the tournament is scheduled for January 20, against the Punjab team.
Asked if the Pakistani players will feature in the matches held in Mumbai, Bhore said, "That, the committee will have to decide. Pakistani players are not just in Mumbai team, but they are there in other teams also, so they will have to decide."