Cheetahs take flight to Chennai, Pune dash to Mumbai

  • End of Chennai Cheetahs run as they lose steam to Mumbai Marines 1-4
  • Xess Banmali (3rd min), Ajmer Singh (32nd min), Troy Sutherland (62nd min) & Aijub Ekka (70th min) score for Marines
  • Syed Imran Warsi reduces the margin for Cheetahs in the 65th min

The match was something of an anti-climax. Cheetahs were reduced to a bundle of nerves in 65 minutes trailing 3-0 as Syed Imran Warsi, whom everyone had dreaded facing for the last 30 days, evoked nothing more than a wry smile from a rival defender as he struck his first drag-flick goal of the day with just five minutes remaining, leaving many with the sinking feeling that the league had come to an abrupt end for the mesmerising and talented Chennai Cheetahs.

Marines’ international flavour, Troy Sutherland, however, takes home some sweet memories despite his team finishing last in the league, playing a role in at least three goals as they crushed the semifinal hopes for Cheetahs with a 4-1 win in the 56th match, the last of the league matches in the inaugural Bridgestone World Series Hockey here at the MHA Mahindra Stadium on Friday. It will take some time for the wounds to heal for Brent Livermore and his boys as their stay in Mumbai has been cut short by a team which finished last. But, Marines’ gritty determination to win even when there were hardly any stakes in this match, is what the Bridgestone WSH is all about – all the great eight teams throwing everything at each other. Continue reading →

It’s raining goals on Wizards’ night

  • Delhi Wizards stun title favourites Sher-E-Punjab 7-5, to finish sixth in the league
  • Shakeel Abassi (38th, 43rd & 61st mins) scores three goals while Vivek Gupta (29th & 54th mins) with a brace and Victo Singh (13th min), Rajpal Singh (57th min) add one each for the Wizards
  • Gagandeep Singh (8th min) and Karmjit Singh (53rd min) score one each while Prabhjot Singh strikes three goals (31st, 67th & 68th mins) for the Shers
  • 300th goal of the WSH comes up in 55th match

It was payback time for all those heartbreaks. Though, it looked like a familiar story when Sher-E-Punjab went ahead in the eight minute through Gagandep Singh but the young Victo Singh equalised five minutes later and then Pakistani import Shakeel Abassi went on to grab a sensational three-goal haul in his name, the experienced Vivek Gupta struck a brace and star forward Rajpal Singh bagged one and, the local fans at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium were still chanting “goal, goal”. The match ended 7-5 in favour of the Wizards, who finished sixth in the league after playing all their 14 matches in the Bridgetsone WSH, while title favourites Shers will move on to play the semifinals against Karnataka Lions in Bengaluru on April 1, but this was sweet revenge. Continue reading →

5 Lacs from Sahara, 1 Lac from Lalit and 1 Lac + iPad from Hockey India; Graded Payments?

Felicitations of Indian Hockey for Qualifying to London 2012 Olympics:
The 18-member squad that qualified for the Olympic Games was awarded Rs.1 Lakh by the Lalit Group of Hotels while Hockey India gave away Rs.1 Lakh and an Apple iPad as a reward. The coaching and support staff was handed over Rs.50,000 by each of Hockey India and Lalit Group of Hotels.

Sandeep Singh

Earlier in this month, Sardar Singh and Sandeep Singh were awarded Rs.11 lakhs each, while other team members and chief coach Michael Nobbs were given Rs.5 lakh each by Sahara, the official sponsors of Indian Hockey Team. While, each member of the support staff was awarded with Rs.1 lakh. Also, the taxes on the cash awards were also borne by Sahara. Thus, the total expenditure by Sahara was in the tune of Rs.1.29 crore.

Are we going to see Graded Payment Structure (the long-standing demand)?
If this happens, will be be a greatest development in Indian Hockey, after World Series Hockey in this year. Continue reading →

Ritu Rani to lead Indian women’s team in 4-nation tourney in New Zealand

Ritu Rani, After Scoring a Goal Against Ireland in Dec 2010

Ritu Rani, After Scoring a Goal Against Ireland in Dec 2010

Midfielder Ritu Rani will lead Indian women’s hockey team to participate in a double-leg four-nation tournament, featuring Australia, India, New Zealand and USA, to be held at Auckland, New Zealand from April 12 to 22.  The first leg of the tournament will be played at North Harbour Hockey Centre, while Lloyd Elsmore Reserve host the second one.

Defender Joydeep Kaur with 87 international caps with be deputy to Ritu Rani who has represented India in 125 International matches. Selection trials for the team were conducted at SAI Centre, Bhopal on March 23 and 24, witnessed by Hockey India selectors Col Balbir Singh, BP Govinda and Syed Ali, alongwith government observer Harbinder Singh.

Goalkeepers: Yogita Bali, Sukhmani Virk.
Defenders: Th. Pinky Devi, Joydeep Kaur (VC), Kirandeep Kaur.
Midfielders: P Sushila Chanu, Asunta Lakra, Mukta Prava Barla, Deepika, Ritu Rani (C), Kiran Dahiya.
Forwards: Poonam Rani, Rani, Vandana Katariya, Chanchan Devi, Th Anuradha Devi, Anupa Barla, Navneet Kaur.
Standbys: Savita (Goalkeeper), Deep Grace Ekka (Defender), Namita Toppo (Midfielder), Lily Chanu (Forward).

Photo by:  Matías Noé Correa Arce / CAH .

WSH Ratings- A phenemonal growth story: 10.43 Million Tune-ins in 4th Week

Triple the tune-ins  of EPL; 65% growth since launch week

The weekly tune-ins of the fourth week of Bridgestone World Series Hockey has reached the mark of 10 Million viewers, which has grown by 65% since the launch (6.31 Million).

Bridgestone World Series Hockey Weekly Tune-ins (Source - TAM, CS 4+)

Bridgestone World Series Hockey Weekly Tune-ins (Source - TAM, CS 4+)

The cumulative reach for the league is an overwhelming 25 Million viewers and is set to increase significantly as league approaches towards the end, with most of the matches continue to be high scoring and thrilling as race for ‘Semi-Final Spots’ is intense.

Nimbus Sport COO Yannick Colaco said, “It is indeed heartening to see such strong week on week growth for WSH. This week’s ratings are very significant as inspite being head on with Asia Cup; the viewership has increased by 25%. Similarly the weekly reach has continued to grow clearly demonstrating increased interest from the viewers. There is no doubt the WSH has booked a plce in consumer’s mindspace as the second biggest sports league in India after IPL” Continue reading →

Comets blow Lions 6-1 to grab top position

  • Chandigarh Comets rain 6 goals in 38 mins against Karnataka Lions
  • Gurjinder Singh (32nd, 55th, 62nd & 67th mins) strikes four goals, including a hat-trick while Ramandeep Singh (34th min) and Barkat Singh (64th min) score one each for the Comets
  • Sandeep Singh scores the lone goal (25th min) for Lions

Harendra Singh’s breathtakingly talented Chandigarh Comets side, seems to be hurtling towards immortality with the quality of its attacking play. Comets thrashed Karnataka Lions, which had roused itself after a dismal first round, 6-1 in their Bridgestone World Series Hockey match, which some called inconsequential since both teams are safe for the semis, but a lot is at stake to determine who meets whom in the last-four stages.

In a game of constant momentum shifts in the first half, the Lions led through Sandeep Singh in the 25th minute, but they were numbed into the most perfect stillness when Gurjinder Singh struck four goals, including a hat-trick, as Comets rained six goals in 38 minutes. Comets have also scored a mind-boggling number of goals – 46 in 14 matches, more than any team in the league. The win catapulted the Comets to the top position in the Bridgestone WSH for the first time, replacing the invincible Sher-E-Punjab, with 28 points from 14 matches. The Shers are now three points behind them and have one match remaining to play.  Continue reading →