Core group of Olympic probables announced, Halappa and Rajpal are not Considered

Having booked their ticket to London Olympic Games after defeating France by 8-1 in the final of Hero FIH Road to London, (Olympic Qualifier at Delhi), Hockey India has announced a series of Coaching Camps for the Men Probables at SAI Centre Bangalore from 05 March 2012. Indian men’s team will be playing a number of tournaments before kicking off their campgain at the Olympic Games at London from 27 July – 12 August 2012. India has received invitations for two 4 Nations Tournaments at Lahore, Pakistan and Santandar, Spain besides the Olympic Test Events at London and Sultan Azlan Shah Cup at Ipoh, Malaysia.

Viren Rasquinha, Prabhjot Singh, Arjun Halappa, Adrian D'souza, Rajpal and Saif Ali Khan Unveiling the Bridgestone WSH Trophy

Viren Rasquinha, Prabhjot Singh, Arjun Halappa, Adrian D'souza, Rajpal and Saif Ali Khan

Hockey India Selectors Col. Balbir Singh, B.P. Govinda and Syed Ali alongwith the Government Observers Harbinder Singh and Dilip Tirkey besides Chief Coach Michael Nobbs held a Selection Meeting to decide on the Core Group of Probables for future camps. They unanimously selected the 48 probables who would be in consideration for the team that would play in the Olympic Games.

The big names like former captains and seasoned players, Arjun Halappa and Rajpal Singh, are missing from the list of probables. Earlier Rajpal Singh was not selected for on the basis of fitness while Arjun Halappa considered good enough for standbys for Olympic Qualifiers Squad. The omission of both the players from scheme of things has came as big shock for hockey fraternity in the country. But this is usual in Indian hockey, players have been left out without any major/minor issue with their onfield performance including Prabhjot Singh, Arjun Halappa, Adrian D’souza, Rajpal Singh and Deepak Thakur to name a few in recent past.

The list of probables is as following: Continue reading →

Bollywood Brigade joins Bridgestone World Series Hockey

Bridgestone, the world’s largest tyre company, has come on board as the ‘Title Sponsor’ of World Series Hockey (WSH), the biggest-ever hockey league in the world. And Bollywood star Saif Ali Khan became the latest celebrity fan of Bridgestone World Series Hockey as he unveiled the dazzling trophy at a glittering function held today in Mumbai.

The versatile actor spoke passionately about hockey being a family heirloom, starting with his grandfather, the Senior Nawab of Patuadi, Iftikar Ali Khan Patuadi who played for India. Saif confirmed his participation at the opening ceremony of the Bridgestone WSH in Chandigarh on February 29.

Viren Rasquinha, Prabhjot Singh, Arjun Halappa, Adrian D'souza, Rajpal and Saif Ali Khan Unveiling the Bridgestone WSH Trophy

Viren Rasquinha, Prabhjot Singh, Arjun Halappa, Adrian D'souza, Rajpal and Saif Ali Khan Unveiling the Bridgestone WSH Trophy

 Bollywood has come out in full support of the inaugural path breaking Bridgestone WSH. Action star and sports enthusiast Suniel Shetty is the ‘Brand Ambassador’ for the league. ‘Anna’ (Suniel Shetty) said, “The Bridgestone WSH is an idea whose time has come. I’m proud to be supporting our national game and I’m sure the Bridgestone WSH will help hockey regain its pride.”

Bridgestone World Series Hockey will be a star studded event and many more celebrities will be a part of this league.

H. Tanigawa, Managing Director, Bridgestone India Pvt. Ltd, said, “We are thrilled with our association with World Series Hockey. This is a revolutionary concept and we want to be a catalyst in promoting India’s national game amongst millions of passionate fans.” He further added, “Bridgestone has been actively associated with various marquee sporting events and joining hands with World Series Hockey is a natural extension of our marketing philosophy. We look forward to a long term win-win association”

Nimbus Sport COO Yannick Colaco said, “We are delighted to welcome Bridgestone as the title sponsor for the inaugural World Series Hockey. The Bridgestone World Series Hockey is all set to wow the hockey enthusiasts around the world with unmatched skill and excitement. It is indeed a landmark moment to have a reputed international brand like Bridgestone begin its association with Hockey through WSH.”

Glittering new Mumbai stadium unveiled for WSH

INR 100 Million invested to transform venue into world class facility

Mumbai, the city which has produced many a hockey great, will now have a refurbished arena in which future hockey stars will be born. The Mumbai stadium will now be fully equipped to host an International tournament.

MHA Stadium

MHA Stadium

In preparation for the first edition of the path breaking World Series Hockey event, the Mumbai Hockey Association has completed the up gradation process for the stadium which will play host to the Mumbai franchise in the biggest hockey tournament in the world.

The renovation included the laying of a new top-of-the-line turf that is also being used for the 2012 London Olympics; installation of brand new floodlights capable of providing lighting at three different intensities i.e. 600, 800 and 1200 Lux for domestic, national and international matches respectively; a cutting edge electronic scoreboard along with the addition of a fresh manual scoreboard; the addition of a stand for video recording by coaches; a modern players dugout; a technical table for officials; and contemporary dressing rooms for the players among other facilities.

Gurbux Singh, Secretary of Mumbai Hockey Association, said, “The support provided by WSH was the motivation in getting the MHA stadium ready in time. It will be a privilege to host a tournament as big as WSH and we are keenly looking forward to the home matches that the Mumbai team will play here.” Continue reading →

Now, World Series Hockey starts on 29th Feb

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.

Adrian Dsouza, Brent Livermore, Viren Rasquinha

Adrian Dsouza, Brent Livermore, Viren Rasquinha

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. Continue reading →

Mumbai Warriors: The Mumbai Franchise of WSH

ProSport Holdings, a consortium led by Ashish Bharatram (SRF) and Harish Thawani (Nimbus) acquires Mumbai Franchise

Mumbai Warriors is the latest team to be unveiled in World Series Hockey . The team will be spearheaded by local champion Adrian D’Souza as captain and one of the world’s most cutting edge coaches – Andrew Meredith. The team will also feature emerging star Yuvraj Walmiki, comeback champion and former India captain Viren Rasquina along with international stars like Pedro Ibarra (Argentina) and Sung Min (South Korea)

Adrian Dsouza, Brent Livermore, Viren Rasquinha

Adrian Dsouza (Captain, Mumbai Warriors), Brent Livermore (Captain, Chennai Cheetahs) with Viren Rasquinha (Former Captain of India, who will make come back to hockey in WSH)

ProSport Holdings is a consortium led by highly respected industrialist Ashish Bharatram (SRF Group) and sports and media entrepreneur Harish Thawani (Nimbus Communications). The SRF Group is one of India’s most respected and leading business houses with a large international footprint. They have been rapidly expanding their operations in the textiles and chemicals business. Nimbus Communications Ltd is one of India’s biggest sports rights management and marketing company and has succesfully managed and marketed various commercial rights for global sports federations, including BCCI, ICC, EPL, IPL, Asian Cricket Council and Indian Golf Union amongst many others.

The franchise will shortly announce a leading media and entertainment player as a third partner. The consortium is a perfect mix of the 3 key essentials for any successful league – sport, business and entertainment. Continue reading →

Captain and Coaches for 8 WSH Teams Announced

World’s leading coach Roelant Oltmans will train the Delhi team while India’s top midfielder Sardara Singh has been appointed captain of Bhopal in World Series Hockey. Olympian Gold Medalist Brent Livermore will lead Chennai while former India captain Jude Felix will coach the Bengaluru team.

The appointments were made at a franchise workshop held today. The players for the eight teams will be finalized on Monday, November 28, based on the globally approved “Draft” system.

Jude Felix

Jude Felix to Coach karnataka Lions

The allocation of captains and coaches are as follows:
1. Bengaluru –Karnataka Lions: Lead by Arjun Halappa Coached by Jude Felix
2. Bhopal: Lead by Sardar Singh, Coached by V Bhaskaran
3. Chandigarh: Lead by Rehan Butt Coached by Harendra Singh
4. Chennai – Chennai Cheetahs: Lead by Brent Livermore Coached by Jose Brasa
5. Delhi: Lead by Lucas Vila Coached by Roelant Oltmans
6. Mumbai: Lead by Adrian D’Souza Coached by Andrew Meredith
7. Pune –Pune Strykers: Lead by Rodrigo Garza Coached by Gundeep Singh
8. Punjab: Lead by Prabhjot Singh Coached by Rajinder Singh

The Captains of WSH Teams

Continue reading →