Four Pakistani hockey players in the Hockey India League (HIL) will return home, sources say. The decision to send back the players, part of the Mumbai Magicians team, comes in the wake of protests by the Shiv Sena in Mumbai against their participation in HIL games.
A representative of HIL also met with the Deputy Commissioner of Police in Mumbai earlier this afternoon.
Meanwhile, in another instance of the tensions between India and Pakistan along the Line of Control (LoC) spilling over to the sports arena, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has also written to the International Cricket Council or ICC on concerns over security for the Pakistan cricket team in the women's World Cup beginning later this month in India.
Top developments in this story:
- Adding to the controversy, Shiv Sena spokesperson, Sanjay Raut, today said, "We banished the hockey players from Pakistan. We hope that all our political parties will take note of it."
- Rajiv Shukla, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs has said that any "decision will be taken keeping in mind the sentiments of the people."
- HIL organisers are expected to take a final call on whether the other four Pakistani players in the league will play in the upcoming games this evening.
- Indian politicians and sportsmen have spoken strongly in support of the eight Pakistani players who are part of the league. "Any player or artist who comes from across the border can only fill hearts with love," said former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu, the brand ambassador for HIL and a BJP Member of Parliament.
- On Sunday, a group of Shiv Sena workers had protested outside Mumbai's Churchgate Stadium, where the Mumbai Magicians team was training. On Monday during the inaugural match between the Delhi Waveriders and Punjab Warriors, two Hindu Yuwak Sabha members attempted to get on to the ground at the National Stadium.