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Shakeel Abbasi of Delhi Wizards: Bridgestone WSH ‘Game Changer’

Shakeel Abbasi (PAK)

City/State : Quetta (Pakistan) DOB: 05-01-1984

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!”

Reference: World Series Hockey


Sher-e-Punjab: The Champions of 1st Bridgestone World Series Hockey

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

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.

Highlights of the Match Continue reading →

Bridgestone WSH Final: Pune Strykers Vs Sher-e-Punjab

Live on or Neo Sports/Cricket or below on this page

Bridgestone World Series Hockey final between Pune Strykers and Sher-e-Punjab to be played in Mumbai at the Mahindra Hockey stadium today, 2nd April 2012 at 9:00PM, can be watched live here on this page or if you are not able to catch it on tv at Neo Sports/Cricket.

Masters of comebacks produce yet another miracle

  • Pune Strykers will meet Sher-E-Punjab in the finals of the Bridgestone WSH, to be played at MHA Mahindra Stadium, Mumbai, on April 2
  • Pune Strykers beat Chandigarh Comets 3-2 in penalty shoot-outs after regulation time score of 4-4
  • Mario Almada, Bikash Toppo, Nikkin Thimmaiah scored in the penalty shoot-outs for Strykers; Roshan Minz fails with his attempt
  • Gurjinder Singh and Bharat Chhikara score for Comets while Ramandeep Singh, Sukhwinder ‘Gabbar’ Singh and Rehan Butt miss their chances

This was arguably the greatest comeback in the inaugural Bridgestone World Series Hockey, and all the more remarkable because nobody, including Pune Strykers coach Gurdeep Singh saw it really coming. Thankfully, nobody told Comets coach Harendra Singh about it.

In an enthralling see-saw battle, Strykers trailed 4-1 for the majority of the regulation time and then 0-2 in the penalty-shootout but kept their nerves in check to make a dramatic comeback in the second semifinal of the Bridgestone WSH here on Sunday, winning 3-2 in penalty shoot-outs after finishing 4-4 after 70 minutes of regulation time. Stryjers will now meet Sher-e-Punjab, who steamrolled Karnataka Lions 4-1 earlier in the first semis.

Strykers struck thrice in the last 10 minutes to cancel out the 1-4 deficit, the 4th equalizer coming after the hooter through a penalty corner by their young talent, Simranjeet Singh Randhawa. In the penalty shoot-outs, goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Guri was the hero, stopping Ramandeep Singh, Sukhwinder Singh and then Rehan Butt to script a dream victory for the Strykers. Continue reading →

Smashing Shers storm into WSH final

  • Sher-E-Punjab trounce Karnataka Lions 4-1 in the first semifinal
  • Mathew Hotchkis, Karamjit Singh, Harpreet Singh and Prabhjot Singh scored for Shers
  • Naveen Kumar scored the lone goal for Lions in the 11th minute
  • Prabhjot Singh scored a beauty in a solo run from a few metres down the halfline three minutes before the hooter, to complete the rout

In a game hyped up so much that some feared only disappointment, Sher-E-Punjab’s passing, pressing and patience completely stumped Jude Felix’s team in the first semifinal of the inaugural Bridgestone World Series Hockey played here in front of a packed KSHA Stadium on Sunday. Shers were considered the most consistent side in the competition, but the Lions were the side who had hit true heights with huge wins in the second round. The semis was a fantastic display of hockey, but it was utterly one-sided and was over after 40 minutes.

Sher-e-Pujab after winning Semi Final of WSH 2012 against Karnataka Lions

Sher-e-Pujab after winning Semi Final of WSH 2012 against Karnataka Lions

Despite an electrifying start in the 11th minute even as 3,000 fans were jostling outside the packed KSHA Stadium, the Lions’ tendency to sit back was contrasted with the Shers playing high up the pitch, and the entire game was a complex fast chess game as the visitors ripped apart the hosts with a thumping 4-1 victory. Continue reading →

WSH Semis: Sher-e-Punjab Vs Karnataka Lions and Chandigarh Comets Vs Pune Strykers

  • Sher-e-Punjab Vs Karnataka Lions (1st April 2012 at 7:00PM (IST) Bangalore)
  • Chandigarh Comets Vs Pune Strykers (1st April 2012 at 9:00PM (IST) Mumbai)

A place in the summit clash of the Bridgestone World Series Hockey (WSH) is what the top four teams (Chandigarh Comets (1st), Sher-e-Punjab (2nd), Karnataka Lions (3rd) and Pune Strykers (4th)) from the league stage looking for when they lock horns in the semi-finals on Sunday (1st April, 2012) in Bangalore and Mumbai at 7:00PM and 9:00PM (IST).

Sher-e-Punajb Vs Karnataka Lions

Sher-e-Punajb Vs Karnataka Lions

Lions will be taking on Shers in Bangalore, formers will be looking to repeat their performance in the league stage when they defeated Shers (2-1) at home, but will be wary of Shers as they will be in full strength and looking forward to silent the den of Lions.

Len Aiyappa of Karnataka Lions

Len Aiyappa of Karnataka Lions

The hosts will depend heavily on experience of captain Arjun Halappa, speed of Sansarpur (Macca of Hockey/Village of Olympians) lad Ravi Pal Singh, young guns like Arjun Antil, Jarnail Singh, etc. and drag-flicks of their top goal scorer Len Aiyappa to deliver the goods upfront. But, veteran Pakistan defender Zeeshan Ashraf will have to work hard and lead from front to defend Lions’ den from the attack led by Shers trio of Deepak Thakur, skipper Prabhjot Singh and Gagan Ajit Singh supported by young Mandeep Antil, Pakistani import Tareeq Azeez, Aussie Mathew Hotchkis. The Shers upfront will be supplied ammunition by Coorg lad VS Vinaya, experienced Inderjit Chadda and co. from the mid-field. Punjab’s citadel will be guarded by Olympian Harpal Singh, who is not only tough to beat for any attacker but also leads his young counterpart from front on field.

Pune Strykers' Young Guns Damandeep Singh, Tyron Pereira and Gurpreet Singh

Pune Strykers' Young Guns Damandeep Singh, Tyron Pereira and Gurpreet Singh

Gurjinder Singh, Truimph Card of Chandigarh Comets

Gurjinder Singh, Truimph Card of Chandigarh Comets

The other Semi Final will see the slow starters in tournament Chandigarh Comets (finally ended at the top of table) and unpredictable Pune Stykers at MHA Mahindra Hockey Stadium, Mumbai. Comets who won both home and away matches against Strykers (their opponent in Semi) will hold the edge in knock out match. It will be tough time for Pune defenders in negotiating with the trio of Canadian International Sukhwinder Singh (Gabbar), fomer Captain of Pakistan Rehan Butt and Indian International Bharat Chhikara. Also, they will be have to guard their home against the firing from young drag flick specialist Gurjinder Singh, who will be looking to book himself the Golden-stick of World Series Hockey.

Looking forward to great hockey Sunday.