New Delhi, Jan 10 (IANS) Delhi Waveriders' legendary Dutch drag-flicker Taeke Taekema was Thursday ruled out of the Hockey India League (HIL), starting Jan 14, with a back injury.
Taekema was bought by the Delhi-franchise for Rs.13.6 lakh.
"We will miss the services of our drag-flick specialist Taekema. We just got a message from him that he is injured. He is recuperating from a back injury and won't be available for the entire league," said Ajitpal Singh, the chief advisor of Delhi Waveriders.
Ajitpal admitted it was a big loss but said the team has enough replacements.
"It is a big loss for us as he is one of the best penalty corner specialist in the world. But we have balanced side and I hope his absence won't affect us much," he said.
On the availability of two Pakstani players Mohammad Rizwan Sr and Mohammad Rizwan Jr, Ajitpal said the franchise has adopted a "wait and watch" policy.
"We have heard that all the nine Pakistani players have been called in the Indian High Commission in Pakistan today. We can't do anything but wait and watch," he said.
The visas for the nine Pakistani players, who will be taking part in the league, has been delayed after the alleged killing of two Indian soldiers by the Pakistani armed forces Tuesday.
"What has happened at the LOC is brutal but I feel the players should not suffer due to this," Ajitpal said. "What happens in the border has no relation with sports. There is no relation between politics and sports."
Delhi Waveriders head coach A.K. Bansal said even if the two Pakistanis are unavailable, the teams has enough back-up players.
"We have two Pakistani players out of nine. When we purchased we chose the best. If they fail to come no doubt it will affect us. But in case it happens we have the option of picking up players from the unsold bracket.
"But I hope by tomorrow all the nine Pakistani players will be here," he said.
Bansal said goalkeeping is one of the strengths of Delhi Waveriders.
"Goalkeeping is our strength. In German Nicolas Jacobi and Dutch Pirmin Blaak we have two best goalkeepers in the world," he said.
The franchise owners have decided to throw open the gates of Major Dhyanchand National Stadium to the public for the HIL opener between Delhi Waveriders and Jaypee Punjab Warriors slated for Jan 14.