Is India vs Pakistan game that big? One India Vs Pakistan match changes the value of tournament itself in terms of viewership, news coverage and hype, but does it matter for India and Pakistan when they finish in lower half of the standings in the tournament? Or it matters for their rivalry and pride.
What makes me sad is current the situation of hockey in both countries Pakistan and India and we are happy wining against each others, rather than focusing on regaining our status of power houses. We (India and Pakistan) have abilities to excel and reach the heights of past glory again, but why are not we able to, even after trying different combinations of foreign coaches, young/experienced/mixed squads and/or traditional attacking/European style of play? Because, we do not have a leader who can lead us till the top and has capability to arrest our fall which generally happens after rising upto a certain level. I feel we can not find it outside somewhere, rather we will have to look for it within ourselves. Continue reading →
Field Position : Forward International Debut : 2003 International Caps : 200+ WSH Team : Delhi Wizards WSH Goals : 8
Delhi Wizards’ Pakistani import, Shakeel Abbasi, who also won the maximum number of MoM awards in the league and he scored total 8 goals in the inaugural edition of Bridgestone World Series Hockey. He was awarded with Bridgestone WSH ‘Game Changer’ with prize money of Rs 25 lakh.
His Hockey Story: Right from childhood, he was very interested in sports. Cricket and hockey were the most popular games then and he spent more time playing than doing anything else. But he developed a liking for hockey at an early age and started taking the sport seriously. His parents encouraged him a lot. Since his elder brother, a hockey player, was an inspiration for him. He captained my school team, joined a hockey academy where he could fine tune his skills and that’s how his hockey journey began.
Shakeel on playing in India: “It’s always a pleasure playing in India. The kind of treatment we get there makes us feel really special. Sometime, I feel we get better treatment from the crowd than the Indian players! The great thing this time is that because of WSH, I will get to play in different cities of the country. Chandigarh and Delhi are famous for the love of hockey but playing in Bhopal, Mumbai and Pune will be an enriching experience.”
Shakeel on most memorable moment of his career: ”Winning the Asian Games in 2010 is one of the high points of my career. We were under a lot of pressure as we hadn’t won anything major for a long time. A month before the Asian Games, we had a dismal outing at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. So to win under that pressure showed our team’s strength and it also helped us book a berth for the London Olympics!”
In the summit clash of Bridgestone World Series Hockey between Sher-e-Punjab and Pune Strykers (who defeated Karnataka Lions (4-1) and Chandigarh Comets (4-4 (3-2 PS)) enroute to finals respectively), it was strykers who started nicely and took lead through Tyron Pereira in the 4th Minute of game. Tyron’s slap shot from the baseline just inside the D, went into net after taking deflection from Harpreet Singh, the Shers’ defender.
Individual Awards: WSH Rockstar (Rs 1 crore): Gurjinder Singh (Chandigarh Comets). WSH Indian Superstar (Rs 50 lakh): Roshan Minz (Pune Strykers). WSH Golden Stick (Rs 25 lakh): Syed Imran Warsi (Chennai Cheetahs) & Gurjinder Singh (Chandigarh Comets) (19 goals apiece). WSH Game Changer (Rs 25 lakh): Shakeel Abbasi (Delhi Wizards). WSH Rookie of the Year (Rs 10 lakh): Lalit Upadhyay (Bhopal Badshahs). WSH Best Coach (Balkrishna Award): Rajinder Singh (Sher-e-Punjab).
Sher-e-Pujab the Champions of 1st Bridgestone World Series Hockey
As usual, the Shers came out strongly as wounded Lions, as they not only denied room to Stykers’ strikers but also equalized within 2 minute in an indirect PC conversion, when Indian International VS Vinaya (who also plays in Spanish League) sent the ball into the nets. VS Vinaya, Mandeep Antil and Mathew Hotchkis did the hardwork in mid-field and set up many goal bound moves, but Gurpreet Guri (Stykers’ Goalie) stood tall in front of the nets, before Thakur sent the ball into the net after receiving a pass from Mathew Hotchkis just 2 minutes before Half Time.