Non-availability of a title sponsor for Hyderabad team in the eight-team World Series Hockey (WSH) to be held next month has put the career of Ch. Santosh Kumar, the only player from the State who signed for the series, in quandary.

This 21-year-old goalkeeper who played for India in the recent tournament in Argentina signed the contract with WSH hoping to play for Hyderabad which was in the original teams' list.

He even quit the assistant manager's job in Indian Overseas Bank in Chennai to be back in the city.

But now, the eighth team has turned out to be Bhopal and not Hyderabad. The reason cited is groupism among hockey officials who seek to control the State Association. The organisers were also worried about one of them seeking legal redress and even forcing cancellation of the Hyderabad-leg which has to feature eight matches in all. Ironically, WSH organisers had even paid Rs.2 lakh as advance towards the conduct of the league match at Gachibowli astro-turf stadium.

“We are yet to get an official intimation in this regard. As of now, we are not sure whether or not Hyderabad figures in their scheme of things. But since we are already in the preparatory mode, we hope at least the matches will be played here even if there is no Hyderabad team in the WSH,” says a senior official of Hyderabad Hockey Association (HHA).

No recognition

The other interesting aspect is that the HHA with V. Dinesh Reddy, DGP, as its president, owes allegiance to the Indian Hockey Federation which is organising the League.

The FIH doesn't recognise either the IHF or the WSH. It communicates only with the Hockey India.

The reason cited is groupism among hockey officials who seek to control the State Association