Apart from a total of Rs. 10,00,00,000/- prize money, WSH invested a few Crores of Rupees in improving the infrastructure at host venues such as installation/upgradation of lights, laying/repairing of turf, installation of world class goalposts, etc. The WSH also worked with stadium authorities through out 8 venues (Bangalore, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Jalandhar, Mumbai and Pune) to repair/upgrade and create facilities such as change rooms for the players, rest-rooms for spectators, etc. which are critical facilities but ignored often by the organizers and hosts. 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.
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 →
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+)
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 →
Chennai Cheetah fight back, to trounce Delhi Wizards 6-4
Veerasamy Raja (14th min), Vikram Pillay (65th min) strike one each as Adam Sinclair (63rd & 66th mins) and Imran Warsi add a brace (47th & 51st mins) for the Cheetahs
Vikramjeet Singh’s four goals, including a hat-trick (11th, 27th, 38th & 68th mins) goes in vain for the Wizards
Three goals in four minutes by Chennai Cheetahs against Delhi Wizards was too much to handle for even the thrill-a-minute inaugural edition of the Bridgestone World Series Hockey!
However, the main difference between both the teams was in playing smart hockey. Cheetahs have probably learnt it the hard way that it pays to wait and pounce on the opportunties rather than panicking under pressure. At one stage, the hosts were trailing 1-3 but came back strongly to rout the visitors 6-4 in a thriller played here at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Hockey Stadium on Wednesday. The speedy forward Adam Sinclair and Pakistani drag-flicker, Syed Imran Warsi, were their main trump cards with two goals each while Wizards’s Vikramjeet Singh was plain unlucky to end up on the losing side despite scoring four goals, including a hat-trick. He matched Len Aiyappa’s feat of scoring three out of three in his initial attempts in the penalty-corners. Continue reading →