Last year's runners-up in the ongoing Bombay Gold Cup tournament, Bharat Petroleum, were hit hard Tuesday in their semi-finals against reigning champions Indian Oil by the forced absence of four regular players.
BPCL, champions in 2015, were unable to adequately fill in the holes left by the quartet in the team and lost tamely 2-7 to the oilmen at the MHAL-Mahindra Stadium here.
The four - Sudeep Chirmako, Rabichandra Moiranthem, Shivam Anand and Dinachandra Moiranthem - had guided BPCL into the semis Sunday before they had to leave for Bengaluru for the 21-day national juniors' fitness and routine camp.
They were summoned to the camp, along with Pratap Lakra who was playing for another semi finalist - South Central Railway - through a communication from Hockey India.
All of them left immediately for the camp that started on March 11 and is to continue till March 31, according to sources in the Mumbai Hockey Association Ltd, the tournament's organisers.
Interestingly, the tournament's dates were decided in consultation with Hockey India.
Requests from MHAL authorities to send the five players to Bengaluru, after the conclusion of the tournament Wednesday, were turned down by Hockey India, it was learned.
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