Mumbai Magicians are unlikely to field their Pakistani recruits during their home matches at the MHA Stadium in Churchgate.
“Keeping in mind the sentiments of the people in the city, we will not play the four Pakistan players in Mumbai if that is what Hockey India (HI) eventually decides,” team owner Amit Burman told DNA on Monday.
Burman added that the other franchisees, too, would have to play without their Pakistan players in the city. HI associate joint-secretary Manoj Bhore said, “If we decide that Pakistan players will not play in Mumbai, then all the teams will have to abide by that decision.”
Burman also ruled out shifting their home matches out of Mumbai in order to ensure the participation of Pakistani players. The Magicians, who shifted base to New Delhi after Sunday’s protests, are staying put in the Capital.
Assistant coach Clarence Lobo, said, “We will field our full squad in the first two matches (January 16 against Delhi Wave Riders and January 18 against Ranchi Rhinos, both ‘away’). We are yet to decide our team for the home game (January 20).”
Nine Pakistani players will participate in the HIL. Four of those — Fareed Ahmed, Imran Butt, Mahmood Rashid and Muhammad Tousiq — represent the Magicians.