Pakistan players not to figure in Mumbai Magicians' first home game

Pakistan playes

Players from Pakistan are unlikely to figure in Mumbai Magicians' first Hockey India League home game against Jaypee Punjab Warriors at the MHA Mahindra Stadium here on January 20.

"The match will be held as scheduled but players from Pakistan would most probably not figure in it. Yesterday too there was no Pakistan player on view in the opening game of the league in Delhi," a source in the Mumbai Hockey Association told PTI today.

Delhi Waveriders and Jaypee Punjab Warriors kicked off the League without fielding their Pakistani recruits in the opening match of the inaugural HIL in Delhi.

This was in the wake of the protest by 200-odd Shiv Sena workers here last Sunday that forced the cancellation of the practice session of Mumbai Magicians and made the franchise shift base to Delhi yesterday.

Mumbai have signed up the maximum number of four Pakistan players -- Rashid Mehmood, Fareed Ahmed, Imran Butt and Mohammad Tauseeq -- in the five-team League while Punjab have only one -- Kashif Shah -- in their ranks.

The other four Pakistani signings for HIL are: Mohammed Rizwan Jr, Mohammed Rizwan Sr (Delhi Wave Riders), Muhammed Irfan and Shafqat Rasool (Ranchi Rhinos).

The development has put the participation of nine Pakistani players in the HIL in serious doubts.

Asked when a final decision about the fate of the Pakistani players in various franchises in the HIL would be taken, the source said "probably in a couple of days."

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