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Pak, Aus teams arrive for hockey WC amid tight security

Last updated on: February 22, 2010 20:43 IST

With five days to go for the World Cup, Pakistan, Australia and South African hockey teams arrived in New Delhi on Monday amid tight security in the wake of the recent terror threats, which forced a New Zealand player to pull out of the mega event, starting Sunday.

An 18-member Australian squad, under coach Ric Charlesworth, was the first team to land in Delhi in the wee hours followed by South Africa in the afternoon.

The Pakistan team, meanwhile, entered India through the Wagah Border. Apart from Australia, South Africa and Pakistan, a three-member support staff of Canada, including coach Alan Brahmst arrived on Monday, while the players will reach on Tuesday.

South Korea and the Netherlands are the other two teams, which will be arriving here later tonight to participate in the February 28-March 13 tournament, while four more competing nations will reach on Monday.

"All the teams are coming as per schedule. Canada, New Zealand, Spain and Argentina will be reaching tomorrow while England will come on Wednesday and Germany on Thursday," Hockey India secretary general Narinder Batra said.

Meanwhile, concerned over security, New Zealand striker Simon Child has pulled out of the tournament, saying that he took the decision as he felt that he could not give his best under such heightened security environment.

Security in and around the national capital has been beefed up keeping in mind the recent terror threat by an AlQaeda operative who had warned foreign athletes against taking part in sporting events like the World Cup, Indian Premier League and the Commonwealth Games in India.

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