Pakistan players make quiet exit from HIL

Updated: Jan 16, 2013, 21:26 PM IST

New Delhi: The Pakistani players, on Wednesday, made a quiet exit from the ongoing Hockey India League with six of them leaving for their respective cities from the Capital after Hockey India decided to send them back following the brutal killing of Indian soldiers along the LOC.

While Delhi Waveriders players Mohammed Rizwan Sr and Mohammed Rizwan Jr left by an afternoon flight, the Mumbai Magicians` Mahmood Rashid, Fareed Ahmed, Muhammad Tousiq and Imran Butt took a 7 pm flight.

The remaining three players -- Kashif Shah (Jaypee Punjab Warriors) and Muhammed Irfan and Shafqat Rasool (Ranchi Rhinos) left via the Attari-Wagah border near Amritsar.

The players were sent back even before the start of the Punjab vs Ranchi match in Jalandhar on Wednesday.

It was business as usual at the Major Dhyanchand stadium here before the start of the Delhi vs Mumbai match as the players and officials focussed on the task at hand.

After protests by Shiv Sena and other right-wing organisations disrupted the training and the first match of the league, Hockey India took the decision to send back the Pakistani players considering the "extra-ordinary circumstances".

HI had initially decided to send back the players of Mumbai Magicians franchise only but fearing that the league could be affected by disruptions, it took the decision to send back all the players.

The league ran into rough weather after the killing of two Indian soldiers by the Pakistan Army on January 8 in Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir.

Mahmood Rashid was the most expensive of the Pakistani players with a price of USD 41,000 (approx Rs 22.32 lakh) while Tousiq went for USD 27,000 in the auction.