The second edition of the franchise based eight-team multi-million dollar World Series Hockey (WSH) slated for December 15, 2012 to January 20, 2013 could well see current members of the Indian hockey team in action.
Team India’s London Olympics-bound hockey team refrained from participating in last year’s inaugural edition of the Nimbus Sport-promoted and Indian Hockey Federation-backed WSH as the ruling body of the sport in the country — Hockey India — was not in favour of the event.
However, after the national team’s embarrassing wooden spoon-finish in London, it is learnt that a number of Indian players are now keen to play in WSH-II.
“At least 14 players (from the 22 that toured Europe prior to the London Games) have approached us, showing interest in participating in the second edition of WSH,” Nimbus Sport’s COO Yannick Colaco told MiD DAY yesterday even though he didn’t reveal any names.
“Of the 14, while some have confirmed to us verbally, others have written formal letters of intent to play in WSH. We will make a formal announcement soon,” added Colaco, who stressed that WSH authorities will not tolerate any of the national players “breaching their contract for the second time”. “All the Indian players last year signed a three-year contract and even accepted the signing amounts that ran into a few lakhs confirming their participation in the WSH. But they pulled out at the last-minute citing national commitments (Olympic Qualifiers followed by the Olympics), which we readily accepted keeping the interests of the game in mind. This time though there are no national engagements during WSH, so we expect all of them to play. If they fail to do so, then as per a clause in their contract, they are liable to pay us damages, for which we will go to court, if need be,” explained Colaco.
‘Damages could go into crores’
According to sources, as per a clause in the contract, if a player refuses to play in World Series Hockey, the organisers can claim a maximum of Rs 3 crore in damages from the player depending on his stature and nature of contract.
“On an average each player will have to cough up anywhere between Rs 1.5 to 3 crores,” revealed a source.