Defending champions Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) team retained the title of All India MCC Murugappa Hockey Tournament 2015 by defeating 3-2 Army XI in the final at Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium, Egmore, Chennai.
Earlier in the tournament, Army XI had defeated CAG by 3-0 and IOC came over Punjab & Sind Bank by 2-1 in semi-finals to reach the final.
The match seemed to be a fight among equals right up to the half-time, after which the competition got hotter by the minute. The final few minutes saw frantic attempts by both teams to firm up their positions in the match.With the aplomb shown in the earlier matches too, the IOC skipper Deepak Thakur led the team from the front, finally guiding the team to victory.
As the winning team, Indian Oil Corporation takes home the prize money of Rs 5.00 lakhs, and the runner-up team Army XI receives Rs 2.50 lakhs. (This year’s tournament prize amount was increased from the earlier sums of Rs 2.50 lakhs and Rs 1.50 lakhs respectively).
In addition to the above team prizes, the following individual awards were also given away to the top performing players. Each of these players were given a high-end bicycle from TI Cycles, a holiday voucher from www.parryyatra.com and a cash prize of Rs 10,000:-
Special Individual Awards:
Best Forward: Deepak Thakur of Indian Oil
Best Midfielder: Pradhan Somanna of Karnataka Hockey
Best Goal keeper/ Defender: Chandan Singh of CAG
Most Promising Player of the tournament: Vinay Anup Valmiki of Mumbai
Man of the Match of the Finals: Deepak Thakur of Indian Oil
RS Sokhi had officiated as the Tournament Director and was assisted by a team of outstation and local officials.
The Final match was a well-attended affair, with Arun Murugappan and MM Murugappan and others from the Murugappa Group.Office-bearers of the Madras Cricket Club, including Ajit Kumbhat, President, Srivatsan Subramaniam, Vice President, R Ramesh, Honorary Treasurer and Vijay Kumar, Organising Secretary, along with the others members of Madras Cricket Club, participated in the final tournament, which had the hockey aficionados cheering the teams from the stands.
About MCC and the Tournament:
The Madras Cricket Club is one of the premier sports institutions in the country, which organizes major national level tournaments in the disciplines of Tennis, Squash, Cricket, Badminton, Billiards and Hockey.
Originally started as the Madras Challenge Cup in 1901and later named the A.M.M Arunachalam Challenge Cup after the first Indian President of Madras Cricket Club, this is the 89th edition of the tournament which along with Murugappa group in the mid 90’s was named MCC – Murugappa Gold Cup. From the early days, this tournament has been the premier hockey event in South India and one of the major competitions in the country attracting the top teams and talent.This tournament has been keenly observed by coaches and administrators for picking talent to represent the country.