HIL Auction on 17th Sept: No team from South India, 135 Indians and 142 Foriegners in Fray

Hockey India League (HIL) is conducting a fresh auction of players for the upcoming season of the League on September 17 at New Delhi. The six franchisee will bid for players from India, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA, England, South Africa, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Scotland, Malaysia, Japan and Korea to complete their teams.

Birendra Lakra Ranchi Rays Hero Hockey India League 2015

Ranchi Rays has retained Indian Star defender Birendra Lakra for upcoming season of Hero Hockey India League 

This is going to be 4th season of HIL, but still there are no teams from South India, either of Chennai or Bangalore should have had a franchise in the league by now. In the interest of the game and for increasing its reach, hockey hotbeds like Karnataka and Tamil Nadu can not be ignored in important league like HIL, which has become one of the best league in world, however it is yet to spread its arms pan-India. Keeping the stadium attendances during World Series Hockey 2012 in mind, HIL organizers should try to get a franchisee from either of the cities specially Bangalore. Continue reading →

Glasgow 2014 (w): India take fifth place with 2-1 win over Scotland

Scotland, 1 August 2014: India defeated the host nation Scotland by 2-1 to finish at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games in women’s competition, while Malaysia and Wales won the 7th and 9th placing match.

Poonam Rani of India scoring the winning goal against Scotland in 5th place play off at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games

Poonam Rani of India scoring the winning goal against Scotland in 5th place play off at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games

Malaysia defeated Canada 3-0 on shoot-out after having scores tied at 2-2 at the time full-time hooter, while Wales defeated Trinidad and Tobago by 4-0 to avoid wooden spoon.

Playing for the 5th position, the Indian eves yet again proved they are a promising team who one should look out for in the near future. While their first half was a showcase of great defense along with counter attacking, it was only in the second half that the Indian forwards finally scored and won the match leaving dents in the opponent’s semi circle. Continue reading →

Glasgow 2014 (W): New Zealand Women beat India by 3-0, Big wins for Australia & England

Scotland, 27 July 2014: The Indian Women’s Hockey team defeated 0-3 by 4th ranked New Zealand in their second match of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland. In the other matches of the day, England women defeated Malaysia by 5-0, Canada defeated Trinidad and Tobago by 4-1 and Australia put 9 past the hosts Scotland.

Indian Women Captain Ritu Rani trying to challenge Stacey MICHELSEN of New Zealand during their match in Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games

Indian Women Captain Ritu Rani trying to challenge Stacey MICHELSEN of New Zealand during their match in Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games

The Black Sticks women easily came over the Indian defence line-up in the 3rd minute, when Indian defence gifted them an easy penalty corner and G. Flynn converted it to take 1-0 lead for her team. The Indian defence quickly regrouped and absorbed most of the Kiwi attacks until half time without letting in any further goals.

Though some promising passing movements were put up by the Indian team but poor basic skills like trapping especially near kiwi D and mis-judged moves kept haunting them. Continue reading →

Glasgow 2014 (M): India Men beat Scotland 6-2, Australia beat Wales 7-1

Scotland, 26 July 2014: India‘s men hcokey team defeated Scotland convincingly by 6-2 in their second match of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, while Australia defeated Wales 7-1 in the another match of the pool A to start the defence of the Commonwealth Games 2010 title on a high note.

Gurbaj Singh celebrates his goal with Ramandeep Singh against Scotland at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games

Gurbaj Singh celebrates his goal with Ramandeep Singh against Scotland at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games

India who registered their second win in the event, dominated the proceedings. It was only in the final moments of the game that Scotland managed to score but it was too late to make a comeback in a match where India showed its clear intent to win.

Riding high from their win yesterday, India got the scorecard ticking early in the 6th minute of the game, with Gurbaj Singh scoring a brilliant field goal. Not wanting to lose their hold in the match, India continued its attack on the opponents and kept looking for chances to convert. In the 23rd minute, India bagged a penalty corner which was converted through the stick of V R Raghunath helping India to increase the lead further. At the end of first half the scorecard read 2-0 with India leading the match. Continue reading →

Ritu Rani Expects Youngster to Fire in Glasgow 2014 CWG

Scotland, 22 July 2014: Going by the present form of her team, seasoned midfielder and captain of the Women Hockey Team, Ritu Rani seems very positive and assured of a striking show by her young players at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games which is close at hand, while the captain of Indian Men Hockey team Sardar Singh shared the similar feelings as that Jamie Dwyer and is keen to see the Kookaburras clashing against his team in the finals at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre.

Indian Senior Men Hockey team along with chief coach Terry Walsh, Assistant Coaches MK Kaushik, Jude Felix and support staff for Glasgow 2014 at the Commonwealth Games Village in Scotland

Indian Senior Men Hockey team along with chief coach Terry Walsh, Assistant Coaches MK Kaushik, Jude Felix and support staff for Glasgow 2014 at the Commonwealth Games Village in Scotland

Reassured by the current shape of her team, which is at its best form and with confidence soaring high, Ritu Rani is anticipating a victorious performance in the upcoming matches and is looking forward to finale clash for the upcoming Games. She also is optimistic and inspired by the thumping victory in the just concluded Malaysian Tour, which was the team’s groundwork for the Commonwealth Games. Continue reading →

The young Indian brigade is ready to deliver at CWG: Neil Hawgood

Scotland, 17 July 2014: With the mix of experience and youth, the Senior Indian Women Hockey Team is getting ready for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games campaign. The team putting in the best efforts and practicing new modules to give a finishing touch to the preparations for the quadrennial event which will be hosted by Scotland in Glasgow.

Neil Hawgood (Indian Women's Hockey Chief Coach)

Neil Hawgood (Indian Women’s Hockey Chief Coach)

With return of Rani Rampal, the women’s team will added strength in their forward line, while their men counterpart bank on youngsters Ramandeep Singh and Nikkin Thimmaiah supported by SV Sunil and Akashdeep Singh, especially on Gurwinder Singh Chandi who will return to the action after nursing an injury.

Speaking on the practice sessions, Indian Women’s team Chief Coach Neil Hawgood said, “While the team is young but the kind of play that they showed in the recent Malaysian Tour gives me reason to be proud of them and confidence that we will deliver our best performance here. The girls are focused on their first match against Canada and we are working on the right team combination keeping the opponents in mind. The practice sessions are helping us get acclimatized with the weather and the situation and the feeling of playing as a team. The focus today was passes and penalty corner conversions and it was a positive session as the girls looked all glued to their goal ahead.

Speaking on the forward line of the team, Chief Coach Terry Walsh said, “We have one of the best forward line as compared to the tournaments in the recent past. The two young players, Nikkin Thimmaiah and Ramandeep Singh who got injured before the start of the World Cup are set to make their comeback along with an experienced senior player Gurwinder Singh Chandi is a sign of added power to the our forward line. Gurwinder has good knowledge about tackling the ball in the circle and will play a key role in bringing positive results for the team.
I am confident that by combining the experience of these senior players, SV Sunil and Gurwinder Singh Chandi along with the opportunities created by our midfield will prove beneficial in increasing the conversion rate of the team and will produce excellent results. We still have more than a week ahead of our first game against Wales before which there are two practice games, scheduled against England and New Zealand this week, which will prove helpful in preparing the team better before commencing with matches in the tournament

Speaking on his comeback, Gurwinder Singh Chandi said, “I am happy that I am back in the Indian team and that too for a big tournament, the Commonwealth Games. Although the comeback took me one and a half years but I utilized this period to work on my game which I will be using to my strength during the Commonwealth Games. The team is working hard on the forward position wherein our Chief Coach Terry Walsh is pushing us to give our best during these sessions and this has helped us to get closely weaved with each other’s style of game on the field. Australia is a pretty tough team in our Pool to compete with but we will perform at our best against every team that we play against according to the strategies prepared by our coaches. I am sure that we will be able to deliver and live up to the expectations of our fans.

Women’s Captain Ritu Rani said, “The training sessions are picking up pace day by day as the tournament is approaching. While the whole team is excited about the matches, all the players are putting in their best during the practice sessions. Chief Coach Neil Hawgood has designed various strategies for the team and we are polishing them efficiently during our training sessions. We are currently working on our penalty corner strategy and we are confident of a winning start to the tournament. The recent success story of the Malaysian Tour has helped in boosting up the confidence of the whole team and we look forward to deliver similar results in the upcoming matches.

The Indian Women Hockey Team arrived in Scotland on 9 July 2014 and for three days the team had their training sessions at the University of Edinburgh before reaching the Commonwealth Games Village on 13 July 2014. The Commonwealth Games will see a total of 10 teams divided into two groups. Indian women’s team is placed along with Canada, New Zealand, Trinidad & Tobago and South Africa in Pool – A, while men’s team are up against Wales, Scotland, Australia and South Africa in Pool – A