Six players yet to get departmental clearance to play in HIL

New Delhi: Six players, including India forward S V Sunil, gaolkeeper P T Rao and and veteran defender Ignace Tirley, are among six players who are yet to get clearance from their respective departments to play in the inaugural Hockey India League, starting next week.

Coincidentally, all the six players are from Services Sports Control Board. While Sunil, Rao, Tirkey and Jonny Jasrotia are in the payroll of Army, two other players Sukhdev Singh and Lavdeep Singh are employed with Indian Air Force.

According to a top Hockey India official, the letters seeking permission for all the six players to play in the league were sent to their respective departments just after the HIL players` auction on December 16 last year.

"We have sent letters to their respective departments a day or two after HIL players` auction, but still the players have not got the go ahead from their respective departments to play in the league," the official told PTI.

"We don`t know where the file is pending but at the end of the day it is the players who are suffering. We will request the respective departments to clear the players` uncertainity as soon as possible," he added.

One of the six players also said that he was waiting for the approval from his department.

"We don`t know what is happening. Hockey India forwarded our letters for permission to play in the HIL to our departments but we are yet to get approval. We are just keeping our fingers crossed and waiting for the approval," a player said on condition of anonymity.

SSCB officials were not availabe for comment.

Sunil, Ignace and Sukhdev have been picked up Jaypee Punjab Warriors in the players` auction, while Rao and Jasrotia will represent Mumbai Magicians. Lavdeep will turn out for Delhi Waveriders in January 14 to February 10 five-team franchise-based event.