WSH starts cracking whip against Team India players, serves notice to Shivendra

World Series Hockey has started cracking the whip against players who backed out of the league, after signing the “Player Agreement” on December 20, 2010 with Nimbus Communications Ltd, the promoters of the WSH, says a report in The Tribune. Shivendra Singh, who played a pivotal role in the forward line to help India qualify for the London Olympics in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament, has been served a notice by the WSH, dated 28 February, for “breach of contract” after agreeing to “provide services as hockey player for the World Series Hockey (the “League”) for 3 seasons”. (Shivendra is among the 48 probables for the Olympic camp, who have been banned from playing in the WSH by Hockey India).

“You are hereby formally notified in accordance with Clause 13.6 of the agreement that the Agreement has been assigned by Nimbus to World Series Hockey Private Ltd (WSH)”.

The notice further states: “In accordance with the Agreement, you have been paid the amount of Indian rupees one lakh (including tax deductions) as advance payment of your Player Fee. In breach of your contractual agreement, you have failed to report for and participate in the league’s training camp on 19 February, 2012.

Abhinav Bindra has his eyes set on this year’s London Olympics. The Beijing Olympics gold medalist says that 2008 Bejing Games is history and he now focused on shooting to glory in London.

Bindra said India's prospects in shooting looked bright this time around. "Past is history, everybody has forgotten it. I know past was great but it does not help me now. I can't replicate my past. I am living in the present. We have the highest participation this time. Each individual is a champion and I am hoping for the best," the gold medal winner in the 10-metre air rifle event in the Beijing Games said of India's 11-member contingent, reads an Indian Express report.

Meanwhile, Saina Nehwal expects that the coming All England Championship (from March 6 to 11) would give her an understanding of the final improvements and corrections she has to make before the 2012 London Olympics, reads a report in The Hindu.

“The fact that she has remained in the top five of world women's badminton speaks for her consistency,” said India's chief national coach Pullela Gopi Chand before leaving, along with Saina, for the championship.

“Saina, after winning five Super Series titles, has been one of the most-studied players by rivals and coaches — a trend which has forced us to re-think the strategies we have to formulate in the run-up to the Olympics,” said Gopi.

According to The Hindu, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) faces a litmus test. Six Pakistan players have defied the threat of a ban to take part in the unsanctioned World Series Hockey (WSH). “They are no pushovers. Shakeel Abbasi, Waseem Ahmed and Rehan Butt are celebrities. Their defiance rings the alarm for the FIH. It will be interesting to follow how it reacts. Any decision to disqualify them from the Olympics — Pakistan earned its berth to London as the winner of the Asian Games at Guangzhou — is sure to provoke a protest, even legal in the CAS. It will also be an embarrassment. For, the President of the Pakistan Hockey Federation, Qasim Zia, is a member of the FIH Executive Board. Assuming that the FIH sticks to the eligibility code and keeps the Pakistani players out of FIH competitions, the impact will be terrible. It will compel Pakistan to field a weak team. There may even be calls for withdrawing from the Olympics,” says the report.