Pushing the World Series Hockey to the month of March (inauguration on 29th Feb and Final on 1st April) definitely strengthen the intentions of the league i.e. to revive Indian Hockey, by taking care of the players, the main stakeholders of the game. That has helped a lot of players, but for some, those who were looking upto WSH to show their talent before all important Olympic qualifiers and London, its a big blow. Now, its WSH’s added responsibility to do much more better than the expected in terms of developing the interest in public in every nook & corner of India. May be, they can start a campaign through out the India involving stars like Dhanraj Pillay and whoever is available; and go to remote areas, towns and cities which do not have hockey culture; show them the skills (live/recorded), India’s domination on world hockey and educate them about hockey to get bigger and broader fan base, apart from the ones which click like on the each and every post of World Series Hockey Facebook fan page.
WSH and IHF announce new dates for World Series Hockey
Tournament to begin after Olympic qualifiers in February (Press Release)
WSH and IHF have announced new dates for the inaugural edition of World Series Hockey, the landmark hockey event, which will now start in February. The extravagant opening ceremony and inaugural match of WSH will be held on the 29th of February and the Final of the Event will be held on the 1st of April.
The decision to adjust the dates of hockey’s biggest annual event was taken after a request made by the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) to the organisers of the Event. The IHF has been in discussions with players, participating coaches and match officials all of whom have reiterated their commitment to play in World Series Hockey.
Speaking on the same, RK Shetty, President, IHF said “We are extremely saddened by the intimidation tactics employed by Hockey India to try and deprive Indian hockey players of an opportunity to earn a living from the sport of hockey. As everyone is well aware, the original schedule for WSH was made on the basis that the National prep camp for the Olympic qualifiers was to start on the 24th of January. This date was communicated by HI officials in writing to players as far back as March this year. Unfortunately, HI chose to reschedule the camp to the 11th of December with the obvious intention of disturbing the players and their preparations for WSH. This re scheduling was done after the announcement of WSH dates.
The intimidation tactics being used by HI are shameful and it’s a pity that our players had to be put through this. With the express intent of protecting our national players from further harassment from HI, the IHF has requested WSH to take the high ground and adjust the dates for WSH. We are pleased to confirm that WSH has accepted the request and the Event will now commence in February after the completion of India’s Olympic qualifiers on February the 26th “
Yannick Colaco, COO, Nimbus Sport said “The primary objective of WSH is the reinvigoration of the sport of Hockey in India. The players are a very important stakeholder of Indian Hockey and post the request from IHF (on behalf of the players) we have had detailed consultation with our sponsors, franchises, team officials, match officials and other administers of the sport of hockey. We are pleased to confirm the unanimous support of all our stakeholders to the adjustment of WSH dates and we look forward to the launch of this historic event on the 29th of February 2012”
Indian ace Arjun Halappa said “World Series Hockey is the best thing to have happened to Indian hockey. I am committed to participate in the inaugural event and extremely grateful to the organisers for shifting the date after the Olympic Qualifiers”
Tushar Khandker said “This is fantastic news for the players. We were always committed to participate in WSH and the change in date ensures that there is no clash with our national duty. It is going to be a very good opportunity for the Indian players to shine on a global platform”
Brent Livermore, Olympic Gold Medalist and Captain of the Chennai Cheetahs said, “I strongly believe World Series hockey will lead the revival of hockey in India. This decision to reschedule the tournament keeping in mind the interest of the players of the Indian national team reaffirms the commitment that WSH has towards their most important stakeholders. The ongoing preparatory camp is very fruitful in building a cohesive unit and I look forward to coming back and leading the charge for Chennai Cheetahs in February.”
Rehan Butt, Ace Pakistan player and Captain of the Chandigarh team, said, “The fact that WSH has taken this decision to help solve a big quandary for the players makes me extremely happy and it augurs well for the future of the tournament. I look forward to captaining the Chandigarh team in February”
Jose Brasa, coach of the Chennai Cheetahs, said, “WSH is a blessing for Indian hockey and they have proved it again by helping the players out from a sticky situation. Now, the players will be able to give their best for India and then get a chance to play in a world class league where the base for a bright future for Indian hockey will be set. I’m eagerly looking forward to coaching the my team from the revised dates”
Harendra Singh, former coach of the Indian team, said, “For the first time in a long time, a decision has been taken in Indian hockey keeping the players at the forefront. I would like to express genuine respect and admiration for the decision of WSH to reschedule the tournament. The preparatory camps for WSH have begun and I look forward to coaching the Chandigarh team in February as per the revised dates”
Sabbas Joseph, owner of the Delhi Wizards, said “I strongly believe that WSH would change the face of hockey as we know it, and they have proved it once again through this decision to reschedule the tournament. This will ensure the players are not faced with an ‘either or’ scenario and as a franchise owner, I share the vision of WSH and IHF and would like to extend complete support towards making WSH a world class event.”
Sagar Pol Chowdhury, owner of the Karnataka Lions, said, “Our stance has always been that the youth of India will definitely see a new connect with hockey through WSH and this decision is a shining example of that. A league that treats its players with care is bound to succeed. I fully back this difficult decision made by WSH and look forward to providing the right training platform for the Karnataka Lions to perform to potential in February”