News WrapGet Handpicked Stories from our editors directly to your mailbox

One-game suspension is ridiculous: Charlesworth

Mumbai: Mumbai Magicians coach Ric Charlesworth has termed ridiculous the subtle punishment to suspend Punjab Warriors` manager for a match for fielding 12 players in Sunday`s Hockey India League game.

The Warriors had played with 12 men for the last five minutes of the final quarter against Mumbai, prompting the home side to lodge a complaint, which resulted in a suspension for Jagbir Singh (Punjab Warriors manager) for one game.

"This is like slapping somebody with wet tissue. It is ridiculous. In my opinion, in all the competition we play in our country, if you have 12 fielders in the game, then you don`t win the match. The game was close and for five minutes and not for a few seconds, they had 12 men," Charlesworth said yesterday after his side`s defeat to Delhi Waveriders.

"I find that extraordinary. You don`t win points when you do that. They had an extra player for five minutes. And the penalty means that this is a tactic that you can use, I imagine now.

"I don`t think there is precedent, because the people on the bench should be doing this. The fact that it happened for so long, is very unusual," the Aussie added at a press conference.

The former India coach further said that the umpiring in yesterday`s game against Delhi Waveriders was not of great quality.

"At the beginning of last quarter, they won a corner. The ball hit Sandy (Sandeep Singh) above the knee and they got another corner, they scored that. They scored it after missing a stop. It was frustrating.

"In international hockey if you get a referral, the game is back at 4 all. In the first half, we hit the foot twice in the circle and the umpire didn`t see it. The umpiring is sub-standard. That is the problem. We are hoping it will work for us eventually," he said.

Delhi Waveriders had beaten the home side 6-4.

Waveriders coach Ajay Kumar Bansal played down Charlesworth`s remark on umpiring and said it was quite okay.

"That was Charlesworth`s thinking, so it is not possible for me to criticise it. For me, umpiring was quite okay. If there was one Indian umpire, then Charlesworth can criticise. The other umpire was not Indian. All the officials on the bench were not Indian. Two foreigners were there, judge and other. I don`t know why people are criticising," he said.

When pointed out that Charlesworth`s remark on umpiring was a general one and not against Indian umpires, Bansal retorted, "I know what he meant to say. It is better if we leave this issue over here. You will make me say something, which wouldn`t be nice. I have said whatever I wanted to say. You are also smart, you will understand it."

Mumbai Magicians have lost all their four matches they have played so far.

"We still have a few deficiencies. We still don`t have a combination that we would like. It is the second day some of these guys have been here. Some of these guys flew overnight to be here. It is a while yet," Charlesworth said.

"I still say this is a long distance race. We have work ahead of us. We are not consistent enough. It takes a while to get there. We are not there yet, it is clear."

Delhi Waveriders captain Sardar Singh said the Hockey India League will help the Indian players in future, as the pace of the game is similar to international matches.