It’s taking unusually long for Mumbai’s hockey striker Yuvraj Walmiki to settle in with a job on the domestic circuit. And thanks to his indecisiveness, he’s not making too many friends. The 22-year-old, who was set to join Central Railway, has gone back on his word leaving the city-based outfit disappointed.
Walmiki had told MiD DAY last month that he would join CR, whom he had helped clinch the Mumbai Super League title recently. “CR have offered me a Class-III job of a ticket collector with a higher basic pay. I had requested them for accommodation and they have agreed, so I’m happy to join them,” Walmiki said last month. He was supposed to play for CR in the ongoing 48th All-India Bombay Gold Cup tournament at the MHA-Mahindra Stadium.
However, he has now had a change of heart and is set to play for Indian Oil (IOCL) instead. His sudden decision however has hurt CR. “We were so sure that Yuvraj would be joining us that we did not bring in two of our forwards Ejaz Qureshi and Athar Mirza, who are posted in Nagpur. But two days ago, he informed us that he will not be playing for us.
At such short notice, it was difficult to co-ordinate the travel of these players from Nagpur to Mumbai, and consequently we went down 1-3 to Punjab National Bank in our Gold Cup opener on Monday. Many of our players are very disappointed with Yuvraj’s attitude,” a CR official, who did not wish to be named, told
Walmiki was apologetic but said he had to make the move as it was more lucrative. “I know I told CR that I will join them, but a few days ago, I got a call from Devesh Chauhan (former India and IOCL goalkeeper) who asked me to play for them and I agreed since it’s a better offer,” Walmiki said yesterday. Chauhan however, claimed that it was Walmiki, who contacted him.
“Yuvraj called me and said that he was keen to play for us since we are among the top three hockey teams in the country. We agreed because most of our players are away attending the national camp,” said Devesh before clarifying: “We won’t be offering Yuvraj a job right now. He will play for us in the Bombay Gold Cup, Beighton Cup (Kolkata) and Nehru Cup (New Delhi) as a guest player. Coincidentally, IOCL and Walmiki’s first Gold Cup fixture is against Central Railway today.