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State Bank of India Awards Rs. 1 Crore to Asia Cup Hockey Team

SBI Chairman O. P. Bhatt presenting Rs. 1 crore cheque to the Indian hockey team

tate Bank of India (SBI) rewarded the national men's hockey team with a cash prize of Rs. 1 crore for retaining the men's Asia Cup hockey title.

At a felicitation function held on November 21 at the Golden Spa Resorts on the outskirts of Bangalore, SBI Group chairman, Shri O. P. Bhatt, presented a cheque for Rs. 1 crore to the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) Secretary General K. Jyothikumaran.

Each player of the 18-member squad, along with the chief coach and manager, got Rs. 5 lakhs each.

"Our hockey team has done the country proud by lifting the coveted Asia Cup with a convincing win. Our players have shown great determination, exemplary teamwork and utmost dedication to the game", said Bhatt.

India beat South Korea 7-2 in the final of the Asia Cup, played in Chennai. The tournament was played between 11 teams over ten days between August 31 and September 9.

The day after the SBI function, it was the turn of the IHF to present cheques to the Asia Cup winning team.

Each of the 18 players, along with chief coach Joaquim Carvalho, was rewarded Rs. 1.5 lakhs. Support staff were given cheques worth Rs. 50,000 each.

The function was held at the SAI Southern Campus in Bangalore on November 22. IHF vice-president R. K. Shetty was present on the occasion. IHF president K. P. S. Gill was expected to attend both the SBI and IHF award functions, but could not make it to both.

The SAI Southern Centre regional director, Shyam Sundar, exhorted the players to keep striving hard and win more laurels for the nation.

SuchirIndia Developers Awards Rs. 2 Crores to Asia Cup Hockey Team

The Indian Hockey Team with SuchirIndia Chairman Dr. Yedugiri Kiron
Article excerpts from Stick2Hockey.com

yderabad-based SuchirIndia Developers awarded each member of the Asia Cup winning Indian hockey team, as well as to the coach, a 2,160 square feet plot in the Koral Reef project, besides a gold bracelet worth Rs. 25,000. The overall worth of this award is an estimated Rs. 2 crores.

The occasion was Sankalp Divas of SuchirIndia Developers, which is observed on the birthday of SuchirIndia CEO Dr. Yedugiri Kiron (November 28).

The venue was Ravindra Bharati, and the audience included invitees from leading corporate houses, Chamber of Commerce, bar council members, among others.

The hockey stars walked on the ramp as part of a fashion show, kicking off the celebrations. They set the ramp on fire as they posed for shutterbugs a la professional models.

Dr. Kiron received a special birthday gift from the team – a hockey stick autographed by all members of the Asia Cup winning team.

Indian hockey's chief coach Joaqim Carlvaho said the entire Indian hockey team was moved by the award.

"We assure you all that we will not leave any stone unturned to realise the ultimate goal of winning an Olympic gold," he said, amidst hearty cheers from the gathering. Dr. Kiron promised another award of Rs. 2 crores if the Indian hockey team wins an Olympic medal.

The following day, the India team joined others in the K run that was organised by Suchirindia, from Kasu Brahmananda Reddy Park to Jubilee Hills Check Post. School and college children participated in the run and cheered the Indian hockey team.

For Dr. Kiron, a connoisseur of sports, especially football and hockey, sports is not just a pastime. Instead, he sees in sports a corporate model for success.

This is how Kiron philosophies about his approach to business: "When my competitor makes a step ahead of us, my team concedes a goal. When we come out better of my competitors, we score a goal. The spirit imbibed in sports needs to be emulated by the business for its success".

True to his words, Dr.Kiron’s chamber is adorned with action image of sporting heroes. He has special love for Argentinean football hero Maradonna and our own Dhanraj Pillai.

Kiron took his entire team of 390 executives to the city's Imax multiplex for the Chak de! India film. "Because I believe winning in team games comes with team spirit, and also, winning is what ultimately counts in an individual's career and in society's evaluation", said Kiron.

Warangal-born Dr. Kiron, 37, is a symbol of the globalized India. Middle class born, successful in the chosen field, global vision and strict adherence to social goals. His Rs. 250-crore business empire has blossomed in the short span of a decade, from scratch.

SuchirIndia is the country’s first real estate company to have ISO certifications in Quality and Environmental standards. As part of their corporate responsibilities, SuchirIndia has organised in the past Blood Donation Camp, Kargil Heroes Day, Sir C. V. Raman Educational Awards to school children, etc.

For hockey administrators, Dr. Kiron advocates a better strategy to popularise and market the game. "Cricket is hugely popular, still they bring in Vijay Mallaya. Why? They want successful people in their fold, and use their expertise for furthering the cause of sport. Hockey also needs to bring together people from different sections of the society, where corporate can chip in, and organise sellable events like Bollywood versus Hockey heroes. Events like these will take hockey to dizzy heights. This is how you attract youth into hockey", Dr. Kiron envisions.

The historic city of Hyderabad has seen some firsts in sports in the recent past - inaugural Premier Hockey League, inaugural Afro-Asian Games. To that list add another one - the largest ever reward for an Indian hockey team. Hail SuchirIndia. Hail Hyderabad.

Punjab & Sindh Bank Win 44th Jawaharlal Nehru Hockey Tournament

he 44th Jawaharlal Nehru hockey tournament was held at the Shivaji Stadium in Delhi, from November 14 to November 25.

Four teams were directly seed into the Super League - Indian Oil, Indian Airlines, Bharat Petroleum and Namdhari XI. Four more teams qualified for the Super League from the knockout phase - Punjab & Sindh Bank, Punjab National Bank, IHF u-21 and Seema Suraksha Bal (BSF).

Punjab & Sindh Bank and Bharat Petroleum reached the final of the tournament, with the following match results:

Stage Date Punjab & Sindh Bank Bharat Petroleum
Knockout Nov 18 beat North-East XI 8-2  
Super League Nov 20 beat Punjab National Bank 4-1 beat Indian Oil 4-2
  Nov 21 beat Indian Oil 6-1 lost to Punjab National Bank 1-3
  Nov 22 lost to Bharat Petroleum 1-3 beat Punjab & Sindh Bank 3-1
Semi-final Nov 24 beat Namdhari XI 4-1 beat Indian Airlines 3-2

In the final of the tournament held on November 25, Punjab & Sindh Bank pipped Bharat Petroleum 4-3 to regain the title after eight years.

The seven goals in the final provided good value to the crowd, who came to watch the match despite the Indo-Pak cricket test also taking place in the city.

Punjab & Sindh Bank was coached by Rajinder Singh Jr., who was also associated with the team when they last won the tournament in 1999.

In a pulsating encounter for the third place, Namdhari XI edged out the powerful Indian Airlines 9-8 through tie-breaker, after both sides were locked 4-4 in regulation time.

All 4 goals in regulation for Indian Airlines were scored by Sandeep Singh. However, Kulbhushan failed to score for Indian Airlines in the tie-breaker, handing Namdharis victory.

Punjab & Sindh Bank got a cash award of Rs. 2 lakhs, while the runner-up became richer by Rs. 1 lakh. Namdharis won a purse of Rs. 50,000 for their third-place finish.

Union home minister Shivraj Patil gave away the awards.

Namdhari XI Win 37th Gurmeet Memorial Hockey Tournament

he 37th S. N. Vohra-Gurmeet Memorial Hockey Tournament, organised by Rock Rovers, was held from November 3 to November 12 at the Sector 42 Hockey Stadium in Chandigadh. Vodafone was the main sponsor, while BK Black was the co-sponsor of the tournament.

India's top 24 domestic hockey teams participated in the tournament, held on a knockout-cum-league basis. Last year's four semi-finalists - Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd., Punjab & Sindh Bank and Namdhari XI - were seeded straight into the quarter-finals. Four other teams - Punjab Police, Indian Airlines, Army XI and Punjab National Bank - were seeded into the pre-quarter-finals.

Namdhari XI and Indian Airlines reached the final of the tournament, with the following match results:

Stage Date Namdhari XI Indian Airlines
Pre-Quarters Nov 8   beat Canara Bank 5-3
Quarters Nov 9 beat Army XI 2-0  
  Nov 10   beat Punjab & Sindh Bank 2-2 (11-10)
Semis Nov 11 beat Bharat Petroleum 3-3 (11-10) beat Indian Oil 4-2

In the final played on November 12, last year’s runner-up, Namdhari XI, beat Indian Airlines 8-7 in sudden death to win the tournament. Both teams were level 1-1 at the end of the regulation time, and 5-5 after the tie-breaker.

The winners were richer by Rs. 70,000, while the runner-up received an award of Rs. 45,000. Individual awards of Rs. 4,000 each were given to the following players:

  • Goalkeeper of the Tournament: Harinder Singh (Namdhari XI)
  • Full-back of the Tournament: Sandeep Singh (Indian Airlines)
  • Half-back of the Tournament: Viren Rasquinha (Indian Oil Corporation)
  • Forward of the Tournament: Saboo Varkey (Bharat Petroleum Corporate Ltd.)

Punjab revenue minister Ajit Singh Kohar was the chief guest on the occasion.

Namdhari XI Win 18th Lal Bahadur Shastri Hockey Tournament

he 18th Lal Bahadur Shastri Hockey Tournament was held from November 27 to December 3 at Shivaji Stadium in Delhi.

Namdhari XI and Punjab National Bank reached the final of the tournament, with the following match results:

Stage Date Namdhari XI Punjab National Bank
Pool Nov 27 lost to Air India 2-3 drew with Indian Airlines 1-1
  Nov 28 beat Indian Oil 3-0 beat Army XI 7-2
  Nov 30 beat South-Central Railway 4-2 drew with Bharat Petroleum 3-3
Semis Dec 1   beat Indian Oil 1-0
  Dec 2 beat Bharat Petroleum 3-1 (TB)  

In the final played on December 3, Namdhari XI beat Punjab National Bank 3-2 in the tie-breaker, after a 1-1 stalemate in regulation time, to win the Lal Bahadur Shastri tournament.

It was only the second time that the Namdharis won the tournament, having won it once earlier in 1992.

Photograph of the Month

Photograph courtesy New Zealand Hockey Association

he Photograph of the Month for December 2007 is of the 1935 Indian hockey team that toured New Zealand. The players in the photograph are (left to right):

Back Row: Rashid Ahmad, Roop Singh, Harbail Singh, Dhyan Chand (captain), M. N. Masud (vice captain), Behram Doctor (manager), Mrs Behram Doctor, M. J. Gopalan, Mohammad Naeem, Pankaj Gupta (assistant manager)

Middle Row: Mohammad Hussein, Frederick Wells, Shahabuddin, T. Blake

Front Row: P. Das, P. P. Fernandes, E. Nestor, L. Davidson, Mukerjee

The following text is taken from a research article: "Affirming Indian Identities? An Analysis of Imperial Rhetoric and Orientalism in the tours of Indian Hockey teams to New Zealand in 1926, 1935 and 1938"

The All-India team which toured New Zealand in 1935 was comprised largely of players who were educated in Indian public schools and worked for government departments or the Army.

The manager of the 1935 team was Behram Doctor, a Parsi, who was a mechanical engineer from Bombay. The assistant manager, Pankaj Gupta, was a journalist, and was with the Indian Olympic team of 1932.

The captain of the Indian team, Dhyan Chand, was a sergeant in the Indian army. M. N. Masud, the vice-captain, was private secretary to the Nawab of Manavdar. He had captained his school and college teams, and had previously played for the University of Delhi.

Rashid Ahmad was educated at the Government High School, Lahore, and Forman Christian College, Lahore, and was studying for a degree in science at the University of Punjab.

Roop Singh, brother of Dhyan Chand, attended Government College at Jhansi, and played for the Jhansi Heroes club. Harbail Singh was a physical education expert, and a lecturer at Khalsa College, Amritsar.

Morapakkam Joysam Gopalan represented India in cricket against the MCC in 1934. P. Das was a science graduate of Calcutta University.

Mohammad Naeem captained his school eleven in hockey, cricket and football. Muhammad Hussein worked for the Prince of Manavadar, and also represented India against South Africa in football in 1934. Shahabuddin was employed by the Prince of Manavadar.

Frederick Wells, one of three Anglo-Indians in the team, was stationed at Agra with the Auxiliary Force. Davidson was educated at St. Edmund’s College, Shillong, and played hockey for St. Joseph's College, Calcutta. Nestor was a member of the Diocesan Boys School hockey and football teams in 1926. Like his fellow Anglo-Indians, Wells and Davidson, Nestor played for Calcutta Rangers.

T. J. Blake was educated at Lawrence Military School, Lovedala (near Ootacamund, Tamil Nadu). Blake played for St. Patrick's, Karachi, and was employed in the Government Telegraph at Karachi. Peter Paul Fernandes assisted St. Patrick's, a leading hockey team in the Aga Khan hockey tournament, which was held in Bombay.

Money Matters

Article excerpted from The Economic Times

he movie 'Chak De! India' has not only revived hockey in India, but brought cheer to Jalandhar's sports goods industry. Jalandhar, which produces nearly 95% of the country’s hockey gear, has witnessed a 20% growth due to the enhanced interest in the game.

Demand for hockey sticks, shin guards and goalkeeping helmets, at the retail, wholesale and manufacturing level, has increased across the country.

Ashwani Mehta, partner of Jalandhar-based D. D. Mehta and Company, says: "Overall, the domestic sports market is worth Rs. 600 crores, and the share of hockey equipment stands at about 5% only; but there is reason to smile after seeing the popularity of the movie."

Mehta, who has the Chak de ringtone on his phone, said that the path-breaking movie has created an interest in the game among children, and if the trend continues, the hockey equipment manufacturing industry would get a further push.

For instance, Mehtra informed that Priyanka Gandhi had rung him up a few days back to place an order for 24 hockey sticks, on the occasion of her child's birthday.

Ravinder Khorana, managing partner of Khorana Sports, says: "After the release of 'Chak de! India' five months ago, we have witnessed a 25% increase in the sales of hockey equipment."

Interestingly, the soaring domestic demand has come at a time when exports are slumping owing to the devalued dollar. For Khorana, most of the rising demand is coming from Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.

Rajnish Tita, of Jalandhar-based Teranga International, says: "Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra are also registering a huge demand; I'm about to fulfill last year's target well ahead of four months." In fact, Tita has even been forced to outsource manufacturing for some of the components.

Sanjay Kohli, managing director of RK Sports Pvt. Ltd. said that earlier children used to ask for cricket bats, but now they can be seen with hockey sticks.

RK Sports sold hockey sticks worth Rs 1.90 crore through November, against Rs 1.77 crore during the same period last year. Kohli said that his company had already increased production capacity by 20% to meet demand.

Even the Punjab government was promoting hockey. Recently, Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal distributed 3,000 hockey sticks to school children during sports day in Jalandhar.

At the retail level, too, the hockey stick is doing extremely well after 'Chak de! India'. Deepak Dhawan, partner of the Mumbai-based Ajanta Sports, says: "Hockey used to be a dead sport, but after Chak De, we’ve seen sales soar from 5% to 50% in just five months. This is unprecedented."

Hockey stick brands like Vijayanti and Rakshak that were used in the movie were in maximum demand, sources added.

Media Matters

t was a special day at the movies for around 200 underprivileged children in Delhi, as they were treated to the smash hit 'Chak de! India' by popular Congress leader and Member of Parliament, Rahul Gandhi.

The private screening of the Shah Rukh Khan starrer at the Shakantulam theatre in Pragati Maidan was organised by the Women and Child Development Ministry, on the occasion of World Child Rights Day.

As Rahul entered the theatre, children cheered his name and gave him a warm welcome by clapping. He watched the whole movie with them, and later also had a chat with them. He also distributed gifts and toys to the children, as they vied with each other to shake hands with him.

In the small speech he made, Rahul motivated the children, asking them to be united and achieve excellence in whatever field they chose. Rahul even promised to bring Shah Rukh Khan along, the next time such a screening took place.

Visitor of the Month

Tom Van Aken is this edition's Visitor of the Month. Tom wrote the following to BharatiyaHockey.org:

My name is Tom Van Aken, and I'm currently working on a Ph. D in the Physical Education field. I would like to use Web 2.0 techniques to research the London 1948 Olympics. That's how I stumbled upon your website, where the Indian Olympic hockey team of 1948 is mentioned. If it's not too much trouble, could you please help me with the following questions:

  • Do you know if any of the players who won the 1948 Olympic gold are still alive?
  • Is it possible to contact them or their children through e-mail?
  • Do you have any photos, videos, clothes, medals, books or other memorabilia from the 1948 Olympics?
Fun With Numbers

Statistics by B. G. Joshi

he December edition of Fun with Numbers lists the Champions Trophy records of the 8-nations that participated in the 2007 Champions Trophy in Kuala Lumpur.

The table below includes the results of the 2007 Champions Trophy, which took place from November 29 to December 9.

Country Appearances Gold Silver Bronze Best Finish
Germany 26 9 6 6 Gold - 1986, 87, 88, 91, 92, 95, 97, 2001, 07
Australia 28 8 10 4 Gold - 1983, 84, 85, 89, 90, 93, 99, 2005
Netherlands 27 8 5 6 Gold - 1981, 82, 96, 98, 2000, 02, 03, 06
Pakistan 28 3 6 6 Gold - 1978, 80, 94
Spain 17 1 - 3 Gold - 2004
Britain/England 18 - 1 2 Silver - 1985
South Korea 7 - 1 1 Silver - 1999
Malaysia 2 - - - 6th - 1993

Note that the Champions Trophy is a 6-nation tournament. The 2007 edition was to have been held in Lahore, Pakistan. Due to political turmoil and security concerns, the tournament was shifted to Kuala Lumpur.

Rather than make it a 7-nation tournament (original 6 + new host Malaysia), the FIH decided to include Britain as the 8th team. As a result, Britain got an all-expenses paid trip to Kuala Lumpur, to get vital match practice against the highest ranked countries in world hockey.

The country that lost out completely in this deal was India - not only was their bid for the 2007 Champions Trophy rejected, but in addition, the toughest country in their Olympic Qualifying group - Britain - which did not even put in a bid for the 2007 Champions Trophy - got a free pass to the tournament.

Britain did well against the Asian teams in the 2007 Champions Trophy - they beat Pakistan 4-1, beat Malaysia 3-2 and drew with South Korea 2-2. Indeed, it is time for India to take the threat from Britain seriously, for next year's Olympic qualifier.