For Security Reasons, Kiwi Striker Decides Not to Play in Hockey World Cup

Despite Hockey New Zealand being satisfied with the security arrangements made by the Indian government, Kiwi striker Simon Child has pulled out of the hockey World Cup starting on Sunday, reported PTI.

According to report, Child said he pulled out as he felt that he could not give his best under such heightened security environment.

“It’s not an ideal environment to be trying to play your best hockey and to be performing for your country,” he was quoted as saying.

“I think that was the major issue that swayed me when I made up my mind. It was extremely tough, probably the toughest decision I’ve had to make in my life.

“A big part of me of course wanted to go to the World Cup,” the 21-year-old striker, who already has 119 international caps to his name in his five-year-old career, was quoted as saying.

It may be mentioned that Child travelled wit the 18-member Black Sticks squad to Perth for practice games, including two Tests against Australia, in the run-up to the World Cup.

However, the recent threats by terrorists warning foreign athletes against visiting India during this year’s World Cup, Indian Premier League and Commonwealth Games prompted the Aucklander to opt out of the tournament at the last moment.

Shane McLeod, New Zealand coach, admitted that his players found it difficult to focus on game due to security fears, said report.

“Just having a threat hanging in the background take its toll and I think, performance-wise, it has affect us,” he was quoted as saying.

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