Shivendra Suspended, India Appeals!
Eliciting a sharp response, Ken Read – director of the ongoing hockey world Cup – issued a three match ban against India’s Shivendra Singh, a day after the Gwalior lad drew first blood in the home side’s emphatic 4-1 victory over arch-rivals Pakistan on Sunday.
Apart from Shivendra, Read also issued a one-match ban against Pakistan’s Irfan Muhammad
While Shivendra was suspended for ‘deliberately’ hitting Pakistan’s Fareed Ahmed, Irfan’s suspension was caused by an unapproved glove and knee-pad, he used during the match – said media reports citing an International Hockey Federartion (FIH) statement.
Irfan will sit out of Pakistan’s match against Spain on Tuesday.
Surprisingly, the Shivendra incident was not brought to Read’s notice by the Pakistani side.
Soon after the suspension was handed to the in-form striker, India appealed against the verdict, the final decision on the matter is likely to be known by Tuesday, when India’s inability to convince Read could see Shivendra sit out of key group B matches against Australia, Spain and England.
Meanwhile, former India skippers Zafar Iqbal and Aslam Sher Khan have criticised the suspension.
“I think it’s a conspiracy to make us weak psychologically before the Australia match. For Australia the match against us is a do-or-die game and Shivendra’s absence will definitely help them,” Khan was quoted as saying by PTI.
Ken Read, incidentally, is an Australian.