World Series Hockey received another setback on Thursday as six more Indian players quit the multi-million dollar league to be held across different cities of the country from December 17.
Rupinder Pal Singh, Danish Mujtaba, Manjit Kullu, Manpreet Singh, Birendra Lakra and KC Singh are the players to have withdrawn their names from WSH.
This comes a day after goalkeepers Bharat Chetri and PR Sreejesh, star dragflicker Sandeep Singh, defender Sardar Singh, and forwards Tushar Khandker and Yuvraj Walmiki withdrew from the league.
Rupinder and other five players have addressed a letter to Hockey India Secretary General Narinder Batra that is almost identical to the one sent by Chetri and others on Wednesday.Â
"We are not playing in the World Series Hockey event and that we will be attending the national camp in Delhi for the Olympic qualifiers on December 11, 2011 until February 2012. We will be available for selection in the national team for the Olympic qualifiers," said the letter issued by HI, which bears the signature of all the six players.
"We signed the contract with World Series Hockey under the impression that WSH will not force us to play and ask us to leave for the national camp," said the players, who want to be eligible for national selection.
"We play for our country and that is a matter of honour and pride for us," the letter added.
The players, however, did not completely rule out their participation in the league and have requested the WSH organisers to postpone the event.
"We appeal to World Series Hockey to postpone their tournament after the qualifiers in the national interest," they said in the letter.
WSH is a multi city franchise-based league promoted jointly by Nimbus Sport and rival Indian Hockey Federation (IHF).
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) had already categorised WSH as an unsanctioned event and warned that any player participating in the league will be barred from representing their country.
Several national bodies, including HI and Pakistan Hockey Federation have also warned its players against participating in the USD 2 million event.
(With inputs from PTI)