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News 27 January 2014

All the news for MOnday 27 January 2014

Investec SA women's hockey team in blockbuster 6-0 win over Belgium


The Investec SA hockey team after their 6-0 win over Belgium in the first Test of the six-Test series at Hartleryvale Hockey Stadium in Cape Town Sunday. Photo: MATTHEW WITHERS (ACTION PIX)

Hockey of the highest order by the Investec South Africa women’s team in the first Test match against world number 12 Belgium at Hartleyvale Hockey Stadium Sunday saw the South Africans win 6-0 after they went into the break leading 3-0.

The world number 11 SA’s goals came from Kathleen Taylor in the sixth minute, Ilse Davids in the 16th, Sulette Damons in the 17th and 49th, and Celia Evans in the 47th and 61st.

South Africa, who welcomed back defender and Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympian Lisa Deetlefs from a leg injury, enjoyed a good start in winning a penalty corner in the fourth minute after Belgium’s Lieselotte van Lindt barged into pacy ball carrier Shelley Russell in the 23-metre area, but Lilian du Plessis didn’t get hold of her drag-flick.

A second PC came two minutes later and Du Plessis’ better effort was saved by keeper Aisling D’Hooge but the high rebound fell into the lap of Kathleen Taylor who popped the ball in (1-0).

Wonderful running into space and precision passing then saw the ball go through four SA sticks down the right, but the well-weighted cross went tantalisingly across the goals with a final connection at the key moment the only thing missing.

Another goal had to come and come it did in the 16th minute when Russell took play down the right and passed inside to Illse Davids who first-timed the ball into the back of the net (2-0).

A minute later (17th) SA’s goal of the Hartleyvale Summer Series to date was conjured up when Dirkie Chamberlain, Taylor and Kelly Madsen made the perfect passes at the right time for Sulette Damons to tap in (3-0).

In the 29th and 30th minutes SA carved out two more top-notch opportunities – the first the result of an exquisite inside pull and layoff by Nicolene Terblanche - but the Belgians survived and the teams went into half-time with SA three goals to the good.

The Belgians came out in determined mood after their team talk and while play swung from end to end, it was the Europeans who won the first PC of the half and the well-worked move left Raes with plenty of time to pick her spot but SA keeper Hanli Hattingh was perfectly poised to nullify the threat.

The enthusiastic home crowd came alight in the 47th minute when Dirkie Chamberlain layed off the pass for Celia Evans to smash home (4-0) and two minutes later (49th) it was the irrepressible Chamberlain once again who got the pass away for Damons to make no mistake (5-0). Belgium had their moments but Hattingh was equal to the challenge and in the 61st Evans picked her spot for 6-0 and that was that.

Belgian head coach Pascal Kina and his coaching staff will take a long, hard look at the match video and you can be sure the visitors will be more composed and competitive in Tuesday’s 8 pm second Test, which is at 8pm at Hartleyvale Tuesday and is preceded by a men’s international friendly between a Western Province Invitation team and highly regarded Dutch Hoofdklasse club Amsterdam at 6pm.

The three-Test series against world number four Australia ended Saturday and was drawn 1-1. SA lost the first leg of the Hartleyvale Summer Series, a two-test rubber, 2-0 to world number one and 2013 World League and back-to-back Olympic Games champions The Netherlands last week.

Investec South Africa (3) 6 (Kathleen Taylor 6th minute, Ilse Davids 16th, Sulette Damons 17th and 49th, Celia Evans 47th and 61st)
Belgium 0

(all at Hartleyvale)
January: vs Belgium: Tuesday 28th (8pm); men’s friendly: WP Invitation vs Amsterdam (6pm).
Wednesday 29th (7pm); Friday 31st (7pm)
February: vs Belgium: Sunday 2nd (4 pm); Monday 3rd (7 pm)
Twitter and Facebook

Twitter @Investec_Sport using #Investechockey



SA Hockey Association media release

England finish seventh at Euro Indoor Champs

Nic White in action for England at the EuroHockey Indoor Championships 2014

England came within a couple of goals of securing a place at the Indoor World Cup, but after the narrowest of defeats to Belarus this morning in their final game they had to settle for seventh place and relegation into the EuroHockey Indoor Division II for 2016.

England Head Coach Jason Lee’s inexperienced side went to the European Indoors for a development opportunity, and despite finishing seventh Lee has been really pleased with his team’s progress. Speaking after the final match he said: “It was obviously disappointing not to get the result today, and I am convinced if we came back next weekend we would be competitive at the top end of the competition, such is the progress we have made over the three days. Nevertheless this has been a useful experience for the players and hopefully they will transfer some of the lessons to benefit their outdoor game.”

England were left to battle it out in Pool C for fifth-eighth place at the 2014 EuroHockey Indoor Championships after finishing fourth in Pool A behind the Netherlands, defending champions Germany and hosts Czech Republic. The young side needed a top six finish at the tournament to maintain their top flight status and qualify for the Indoor World Cup.

England faced France and Belarus while other opponents in the pool, Czech Republic, carried across the three points they took against England in their Pool A game.

After a victory against France yesterday Lee’s side gave themselves a fighting chance of finishing sixth, but after a 3-4 defeat to Belarus their fate was sealed.

Match reports and scorers from all England's games are below.

Friday 24 January - Pool A - Match 1

Karin den Ouden 5 (PC)
Kiki Collot D'escury 20 (FG)
Vera Vorstenbosch 23 (FG)
Laurien Leurink 25, 34 (FG, FG)
Pien van Nes 31 (FG)
Lieke Hulsen 37 (FG)


England’s first game of the EuroHockey Indoor Championships was against the Netherlands, and the Dutch side were able to take advantage of England’s relative inexperience to run out 7-0 winners.

Despite the first goal from the Netherlands being scored five minutes in from a penalty corner, the first half saw England keep in touch with a classy Dutch side. It was only in the last minute that the Netherlands increased their lead to 2-0 courtesy of a field goal from Kiki Collot d’Escury.

In the second half the Dutch side found their stride and showed their indoor experience, with five more goals coming between the 23rd and 37th minute. As the final hooter sounded there were six names on the scoresheet for the Netherlands as they completed a convincing victory over England in their opening fixture.

Pool A - Match 2

Kamila Dukatova 8 (FG)
Barbora Haklova 14 (FG)
Adela Bizova 18 (FG)
Tereza Mejzlikova 32 (FG)

Sarah Haycroft 32 (PC)

The second game of England's EuroHockey Indoor Championship campaign was against the hosts Czech Republic.

The match started badly for England, with the side 3-0 at halftime after a number of costly errors. However the second half showed a much more impressive performance from England. Surbiton's Sarah Haycroft scored England's first goal of the tournament in the 32nd minute and it was only thanks to some desperate defending from the hosts and the assistance of the post and crossbar which kept England from scoring anymore. The game finished 4-1.

At the end of the first day England Head Coach Jason Lee said: 'I'm pleased with the progress that has been made across the two games, particularly in the second half against the Czech Republic. This England side is largely inexperienced at indoor hockey, with the majority of the team securing their first international caps against the Scotland last weekend. Moreover many of these players didn't feature in the domestic Indoor Leagues, reinforcing the steep learning curve they are on.'

Tomorrow sees England take on Germany in the final group game, which will be a tough test for the team, as the Germans demolished the Czech side 10-0.

Saturday 25 January - Pool A - Match 3

Lydia Haase 4, 23, 39 (FG, FG, FG)
Kristina Hillmann 5 (PC)
Lena Jacobi 29 (PS)

Sophie Bray 20 (FG)
Giselle Ansley 26 (FG)
Lily Owsley 32 (FG)

After the defending European Indoor Champions Germany beat hosts Czech Republic 10-0 yesterday England might have been right to approach the game with some trepidation, however Lee's inexperienced side did themselves proud only narrowly going down to a 5-3 defeat.

Germany scored twice in the opening five minutes which left England chasing the game from very early on. Sophie Bray stole one back for England in the final minute of the first half to make it 2-1 at the break.

The second half saw five more goals scored, three for Germany and two for England. Giselle Ansley and Lily Owsley added to England's tally in the 26th and 32nd minute respectively. With German defenders making five last ditch saves on the line, England were disappointed not to come away with something from the game. Germany's Lydia Haase was the star of the show securing her hat-trick in the final minute and giving her side a 5-3 victory.

Saturday 25 January - Pool C - Match 4

Sophie Bray 10, 20, 40 (FG, FG, FG)

FRANCE 0 (0)

Battling it out in Pool C to decide the fifth to eighth placings England have set off with a strong 3-0 win over France. Lee's side had East Grinstead's (indoor) Sophie Bray to thank for the scoreline after she contributed all three goals. Bray added two goals to her tally in the first half on the 10th and 20th minute and completed her hat-trick right at the death to give England their first three points of the championships.

Speaking after the second day of play England Head Coach Jason Lee said, "It's been a good day all round for us, with the win providing suitable reward for the girl's efforts. The team have improved a lot in a short period of time and are now looking much more like a competitive indoor outfit.'

England will face Belarus tomorrow as they attempt to finish in the top six to maintain their top flight indoor status and to qualify for the Indoor World Cup.

Click here to see the pools and for more information.

Sunday 26 January - Pool C - Match 5

Giselle Ansley 9,13 (PC, PC)
Suzy Petty 35 (PC)

Krestsina Papkova 5 (FG)
Natallia Mazyrka 14 (PC)
Volha Shyntar 18 (PS)
Yuliya Mikheichyk 38 (FG)

England started the game against Belarus well and despite going 1-0 down Giselle Ansley put her side 2-1 up after 13 minutes from two penalty corner drag-flicks. Unfortunately the lead only lasted a minute as Belarus hit two more home before the break, one of which was a penalty stroke, to go in leading 3-2.

There was nothing to separate the two sides in the second half as they each added one more to their tally, Suzy Petty was on target for England to score her first senior international goal. England gave everything, but in the end went down 3-4 and their fate in the lower division was sealed.

Speaking after the final match Head Coach Jason Lee said: “It was obviously disappointing not to get the result today, and I am convinced if we came back next weekend we would be competitive at the top end of the competition, such is the progress we have made. Nevertheless this has been a useful experience for the players and hopefully they will transfer some of the lessons to benefit their outdoor game.”

For more information about the EuroHockey Indoor Championships please visit www.eurohockey.org

EuroHockey Indoor Championship final standings

1.     Either Netherlands or Germany
2.     Either Netherlands or Germany
3.     Either Poland or Austria
4.     Either Poland or Austria
5.     Czech Republic
6.     Belarus
7.     England - Relegated to EuroHockey Indoor Championship II 2016
8.     France - Relegated to EuroHockey Indoor Championship II, Women, 2016

England Hockey Board Media release

Canadian roster named for PAHF Men’s 4 Nations Tournament

As part of a senior development tour to Chile, Field Hockey Canada announced the roster of players that will be competing in the upcoming PAHF Men’s 4 Nations Tournament.

Eighteen athletes will represent Canada in games versus Chile, Mexico and Argentina at the tournament – taking place in Santiago, Chile, from January 28 to February 1, 2014.

2014 Canadian Men's Chile Development Tour

Name, Position, Hometown

Sunny Aujla, Defender, Surrey, BC
Matthew Bissett, Forward, New Westminster, BC
Arsh Buttar, Defender, Victoria, BC
David Carter, Goalkeeper, Vancouver, BC
Adrien d’Andrade, Defender, Coquitlam, BC
Gordon Johnston, Defender, Vancouver, BC
Sam Jones, Defender, Vancouver, BC
Manvir Kingra, Defender, Surrey, BC
James Kirkpatrick, Forward, Victoria, BC
David Loy, Midfield, Whitby, ON
Kevin Pereira, Goalkeeper, Ajax, ON
Matthew Sarmento, Forward, Vancouver, BC
Oliver Schofield, Forward, Vancouver, BC
John Smythe, Midfield, Vancouver, BC
Hudson Stewart, Midfield, Vancouver, BC
Harp Virdi, Forward, Vancouver, BC
Arif Virjee, Midfield, Vancouver, BC
Paul Wharton, Midfield, Vancouver, BC

Non-Travelling Reserves

Tristan Burgoyne, Goalkeeper, Vancouver, BC
Lachlan Glen, Forward, Victoria, BC
Andrew Kanerva, Forward, Tsawwassen, BC
Chris Roydhouse, Defender, Burnaby, BC

“This development tour is a great way to kick off our year,” said Anthony Farry, Men’s National Program Director and Head Coach. “We have 12 players competing in their first senior international matches on this tour, and I expect them to push hard in hopes of being selected to represent Canada again at one of our upcoming tournaments later this year.”

Canada will play two test matches against Chile on January 25 and 26. The 4 Nations Tournament has Canada facing Mexico (January 28), Argentina (January 29) and host country Chile (January 31). The final matches will take place on February 1, based on standings after the initial games.

Working in collaboration with a variety of partners, Field Hockey Canada is the national sport governing body responsible for the development, growth and promotion of field hockey in Canada. Through the Women's and Men's National programs, Field Hockey Canada selects, prepares and promotes Canada’s teams for international competitions including Continental Championships, World Championships, and major multi-sport games such as the Olympic Games, Pan American Games and Commonwealth Games. Approximately 15,000 Canadians participate in field hockey, which is currently played in more than 600 schools and 400 clubs across the country.

Field Hockey Canada media release

Punjab Warriors register first win, beat Mumbai Magicians 5-3

Agustin Mazzilli put Punjab Warriors ahead in the seventh minute by scoring from a rebound after young Affan Yousuf's initial shot was saved by Mumbai goalkeeper PR Sreejesh.

Mohali:  Punjab Warriors dished out a commendable performance to thrash Dabur Mumbai Magicians 5-3 to register their first win in the second edition of the Hero Hockey India League (HHIL) here on Sunday.

Putting behind their defeat against Delhi, Punjab Warriors made a promising start to the encounter and created trouble for the Mumbai defense from the onset.

Agustin Mazzilli put Punjab Warriors ahead in the seventh minute by scoring from a rebound after young Affan Yousuf's initial shot was saved by Mumbai goalkeeper PR Sreejesh.

Punjab Warriors got a golden opportunity to extend their lead minutes later when they earned a penalty corner but they failed to utilize the chance.

Undeterred by the goal, the Mumbai outfit came back strongly and scored two goals within a span of three minutes to take the lead.

First Mark Gleghorne (15th minute) converted a penalty corner and then Ravipal Singh (17th) scored a field goal to give Mumbai Magicians 2-1 lead.

The Punjab side pressed hard for the equalizer in the second quarter and finally managed to get it in the 30th minute when Malak Singh scored with a field effort.

But nine minutes later, Mumbai Magicians restored their lead through Vinaya Vakkaliga.

It was not to be Mumbai Magicians' day as the Warriors went all out thereafter and precisely converted three penalty corners to hand Punjab their first win in the tournament.

Punjab's star drag-flicker Sandeep Singh first converted a penalty corner in the 40th minute and then Australian Christopher Ciriello (47th) and Dharamvir Singh (67th) made use of two more set pieces to open Punjab Warriors' account in the points tally.

Punjab Warriors, who had lost 1-3 to Delhi Waveriders in the tournament opener, secure five points from the  win, while Dabur Mumbai Magicians garnered one point from the encounter.

The Warriors will next play debutants Kalinga Lancers in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday, while Mumbai Magicians will be up against Uttar Pradesh Wizards here on Wednesday.

NDTV Sports

UP Wizards stun holders Rhinos

S. Sabanayakan

Uttar Pradesh Wizards' Nikhin Thimmaiah (second from right) is congratulated after his equaliser against Ranchi Rhinos. Photo: Manob Chowdhury   

Defending champion Ranchi Rhinos began the 2014 Hero Hockey India League campaign on a losing note going down to Uttar Pradesh Wizards by the odd goal in five in an entertaining match here on Sunday.

Watched by a partisan capacity crowd, Wizards put up a sterling display after being in arrears twice before producing the match-clincher in the fourth quarter to emerge a deserving victor.

Early aggression by the home side produced the first goal when one of the team’s prolific scorers Mandeep Singh seemed to have touched the goal-bound ball in the fourth minute with the match official awarding the goal. Midway through the quarter, Nikhin Thimmaiah equalised with a gem five minutes later making the most of a wrong clearance from one of the Ranchi defenders.

When the play resumed in the third quarter, Ranchi Rhinos produced some lovely moves to put pressure on the rival team. Expectedly the UP goal fell when Justin Reid Ross beat Kumar Subramanim under the bar with a powerful drag-flick off a penalty corner in the 46th minute. The joy was however, short-lived as India’s drag-flick expert V.R. Raghunath restored parity five minutes later with a powerful effort following a penalty corner.

It was 2-2 at the end of the third quarter. The final quarter saw the Wizards asserting itself.

In one of the many moves, Pradeep Mor unleashed a rising shot from a difficult angle from the right side in the 63rd minute. The ball flew into the net to give the lead to the visitors.

Ranchi Rhinos threw everything into attack. Mandeep’s goal was disallowed for infringement. As the game ended, UP Wizards not only earned five points but also inflicted its first home defeat on the host. UP goalkeeper Subramanian was adjudged the Man of the Match.

The result: Uttar Pradesh Wizards 3 (Nikhin Thimmaiah 9, V.R. Raghunath 51 and Pradeep Mor 63) bt Ranchi Rhinos 2 (Mandeep Singh 4 and Justin Reid Ross 46).

The Hindu

Warriors down Magicians

Mumbai Magician player Simon Mantell tries to get past Simon Orchard of Punjab Warriors. Photo: Akhilesh Kumar   

Jaypee Punjab Warriors dished out a commendable performance to thrash Dabur Mumbai Magicians 5-3 in the second edition of the Hero Hockey India League (HHIL) here on Sunday.

Putting behind its defeat against Delhi, Punjab Warriors made a promising start and created trouble for the Mumbai defence from the onset.

Agustin Mazzilli put Punjab Warriors ahead in the seventh minute by scoring from a rebound after young Affan Yousuf’s initial shot was saved by Mumbai goalkeeper P.R. Sreejesh.

Punjab Warriors got a golden opportunity to extend its lead minutes later when it earned a penalty corner but failed to convert it.

Undeterred by the early goal, the Mumbai outfit came back strongly and scored two goals within a span of three minutes to take the lead.

First Mark Gleghorne (15th minute) converted a penalty corner and then Ravipal Singh (17th) scored a field goal to give Mumbai Magicians a 2-1 lead.

The Punjab side pressed hard for the equalizer in the second quarter and finally managed to get it in the 30th minute when Malak Singh scored with a field effort.

But nine minutes later, Mumbai Magicians restored its lead through Vinaya Vakkaliga.

It was not to be Mumbai Magicians’ day as the Warriors went all out thereafter and converted three penalty corners to hand Punjab a win.

Punjab’s star drag-flicker Sandeep Singh first converted a penalty corner in the 40th minute and then Australian Christopher Ciriello (47th) and Dharamvir Singh (67th) made full use of two more set pieces.

The Warriors will next play Kalinga Lancers in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday, while Mumbai Magicians will be up against Uttar Pradesh Wizards here on Wednesday.

The result: Punjab Warriors 5 (Agustin Mazzilli 7, Malak Singh 30, Sandeep Singh 40, Christopher Ciriello 47, Dharamvir Singh 67) bt Mumbai Magicians 3 (Mark Gleghorne 15, Ravipal Singh 17, Vinaya Vakkaliga 39).

The Hindu

UP Wizards upset defending champions Ranchi Rhinos

Tazeen Qureshy

Ranchi Rhinos started their HIL 2014 journey with an upset after losing their first match 3-2 against UP Wizards in their home ground. Ranchi Rhinos had won the HIL title last year.

Huge home crowd and their non-stop egging support gave the Rhinos much needed fillip, but at the end lost venom to lose the match to a better team.

Though Ranchi managed to strike an early goal in the 4th minute, the lead was equalized within 5 minutes when Nikkin scored the equalizer for UP Wizards.

Even the hawkish television cameras could not though find exactly whether Mandeep Singh did touch the ball before it leapt into the goal, but as ironic would have it when he did touch in the last quarter and the ball went it appeared from back end of the stick, not lost sight of by the umpire!

The scoreboard remained static for a long time until Justin Ross of Rhinos scored in the 46th minute. The lead this time also was equalized within 5 minutes after drag-flicker and captain Raghunath scored the second goal for Wizards off a Penalty Corner.

The turning point in the match was however the goal of Pradeep Mor in the 63rd minute when he hit straight into the nets from just inside the D. The Rhinos then looked desperate and tried to equalize. But strong defense of the Wizards ensured no further damage.

For his classic goal, Pradeep Mor of UP Wizards was awarded Goal of the Match while their goalkeeper Subramanium Kumar of Malaysia got the coveted Hero Man of the Match.


Fight for redemption of pride today in HHIL second

K Arumugam

HHIL MATCH NO.3 PREVIEW: Despite having the world’s most coveted coach, Ric Charlesworth, on its ranks, Mumbai Magicians failed to produce any magic till the end of the last year'S Hockey India League. They had their moments till the last league match was played out but lost out the semifinal slot where four out of five teams moved in.

The same team with Indian coach MK Kaushik, known for his golden win at the 1998 Asian Games, now will today evening engage Barry Dancer’s Jaipee Punjab Warriors.

Punjab Warriors, despite having a colorful international stars such as Jamie Dwyer and Jaap Stockmann, started their campaign this year, again on a losing note.

Delhi Waveriders put it across yesterday in the opening match, with gem of goals emanating from the sticks of local lad Talwinder Singh and Australian import Jason Wilson.

Sunday today therefore all eyes will be on the clash of Punjab Warriors and Mumbai Magicians.

While Indian coach Cedric D’Souza -- who has replaced Ajay Kumar Bansal as chief coach -- has seen his Delhi Waveriders walk the talk yesterday, giving an impression that Indian coaches, like Bansal last year, will deliver among the comity of celebrated global coaches.

Therefore, Kaushik’s job of lifting the morale of Mumbai Magicians, in a city where his international career flourished, that reached the Moscow Gold, will repair, replenish and redeem the image that was lost last year. Dabu Mumbai Magicians will depend on the magic of Kaushik, who turned a motley group of youngsters in to Asian Gold medalist with his midas touch.

When the team led by PR Sreejesh, as previous captain Sandeep Singh migrated to Jaipee Punjab Warriors, meet the team in which its former captain was there, there is certainly a classic battle on hand, whose outcome can offer varied scope for interpretation and introspection.

This match of redemption for both teams will be telecast Live by Star TV 20 hrs today.

Don’t miss out.


HHIL 2014: Star TV lifts hockey telecast quality to astonishing level

K Arumugam

When was the last time that you saw a penalty corner ball, is palmed away by a goalie? Perhaps many times, you may reply.

But if the question is revamped to make sense that when did you actually see the ball hitting the goalkeeper’s left hand pad with minute details of exact spot (whether or centre of the stopper), and heard with the sound it makes, you will think twice and then will grope for answer. Even the officiating umpire would not be sure of the details he would have seen, though he is closest to action.

We perhaps would not have imagined it is possible to see on television exactly from which spot of his pad the ball on Penalty Corner drill is palmed away by goalie.

Or for that matter, exactly where the drag flickers’ ball hit the first charger’s stick – in the middle, edge or his knee -- in penalty corner defence, a vital area of suspense and thrill in field hockey. You could have seen it all by now, as Star TV redefines hockey telecast quality; 3 matches have been telecast till the story is written.

Yes, the quality of action replays have vastly improved with the telecast improvisation the Star Television that brings home the second Hero Hockey India League.

The quality of hockey telecast goes a step further with Action Replays relayed to your screen within seconds, virtually within seconds, opens clear understanding of what transpired on the ground on a particular move to the clearest possible way, and no doubt it often gets the thrill of you in full measure.

Even one would have counted, if need be, the droplets of sweat on the face of Raghunath when was he just substituted on Match 2 on Sunday, and the roving camera zoomed on him while sitting on the sin bin.

The way Gunasekar of Uttar Pradesh Wizards got a penalty corner too gives another happy moment. The short one-handed dribble near the right side of the circle, and moment of it crossing the circle line, and then how it hit the leg of John Ried-Ross for Wizards’ first penalty corner, all is there as if one is watching the action replay in a hi-tech coaching soft-ware like ‘Coach’.

There is also a moment that captures our attention.

A player just catches the stick effortlessly, that lies on the turf after kicking it gently, and the way only a hockey player could do that act, caught imaginatively by the roving camera and relayed to us in full measure as the action happened.

When Ashley Jackson of Ranchi Rhinos dived for a deflection inside D, fed by Birendra Lakra, one would have easily seen how much, or for that matter how less, gap that separated his stick and ball, which any way got slipped through.

One moment when PR Sreejesh of Mumbai Magicians conceded a goal against Punjab Warriors too catches our eyes for its precision. He dived to right direction, anticipated rightly the flight, and stretched his left hand to stop, but the hand stopper was just tilted, the ball hit hard his stopper, straight away hitting ground before bouncing into the cage.

He may have conceded this close range goal, but it gives a measure how close he was to block it, it all question of a few degrees of tilt in his stopper.

Not that everything with the telecast is total. There is always room for improvisation.

Say for an example, despite so many cameras catching on everything one could not confidently say the goal the Ranchi Rhinos in the fourth minute was off his stick or went without touch.

Hockey is very dynamic, and has potential to spectacle.

With attention paying now on quality of telecast, instead of entity, good viewer days are ahead.

However, hockey too has numbers, on par with any other popular sports, which writers call stats, and this is one area the TV should focus to improve the presentation, at least from the point of commentary and commentators.

That may or may not happen, as of now let us relish the dish being served before us.


Hockey India answerable for Oltmans and Walsh's conflict of interest

Jaspreet Sahni

"The position of [India] coach should not be compromised and is above reproach," said Michael Nobbs about High Performance Director Oltmans and chief India coach Walsh's jobs with the HIL. (Getty Images)

Hockey India's (HI) High Performance Director and men's team chief coach are enjoying a paid holiday from their job with Sports Authority India (SAI), and the employers have happily signed on the leave application, fully aware that it comes at the cost of compromising the best interest of Indian hockey.

On the surface, HI and SAI appear concerned about the welfare of Indian hockey, but the face pack came off recently when they allowed their High Performance Director Roelant Oltmans and chief coach Terry Walsh take up jobs with Hockey India League (HIL), raising question marks over their allegiance.

Two men, who are on top of Indian hockey's welfare tree, will only be concerned about the growth of a particular group. At a time when their eye should have been on every player of the six HIL franchises over a 30-day period, Walsh and Oltmans will exercise bias towards Kalinga Lancers and UP Wizards, respectively, in full public glare. And the bosses will be merrily watching.

SAI, who had stopped Walsh's predecessor Nobbs from taking a similar assignment in HIL's first edition last year, had earlier termed Walsh and Oltman's association with the HIL as unethical. But later SAI gave in to HI's pressure by striking an agreement that the two foreigners won't be paid for their jobs with the national team during their one-month coaching stint in the HIL.

Both Oltmans and Walsh draw USD 15,000 (Rs 9.28 lakh) and USD 12,500 (Rs 7.73 lakh) respectively every month from SAI. But by allowing them to do a twin job, HI have put themselves under the scanner on whether they really care for the development of Indian hockey. And for that matter, SAI as well.

But SAI's stance wasn't the same in 2012, when it stopped Nobbs.

When contacted, the former India coach also expressed his surprise on Oltmans and Walsh being allowed to coach in the HIL. "When I was [India] coach, we [I and SAI] agreed that the position of a coach should not be compromised and is above reproach. I was representing the people of India and was paid by them to only that. That's where my allegiances were placed. This position was fully supported by the High Performance Director, Roelant Oltmans. I note he is now paid by SAI as well," Nobbs told IBNLive.

That's nothing but double standards. If a particular standard was set for one India coach, it should be the same for others. Then what made HI and SAI change their stance?

"I have got letters from SAI dated January 20 where it has been mentioned that both Oltmans and Walsh have the permissions to coach HIL teams. I got the letter on January 21 and both the letters are in my possession," HI secretary general Narinder Batra told reporters.

That's okay, Mr. Batra. But what made SAI give that permission and what made HI urge SAI to do that? Isn't it compromising the well-being of Indian hockey by letting two men holding the most important positions divide their focus, even if it's for just one month.

Plus, the federation also needs to explain that when Oltmans and Walsh are not employed by SAI during the HIL, does their work visa still allow them to work in India?

Isn't their HIL jobs also ground for bias when it comes to national team selection? Won't the players from two franchises Oltmans and Walsh coach stand a better chance of selection to national squad, even though HI and the two coaches will blatantly deny that?

Their jobs are to improve Indian hockey and not lap up a job-in-job offer; in fact, it should be a restriction in their contract. But to fans' utter disbelief, it is being facilitated by HI itself.

In all probability, the Walsh and Oltmans will fly home for a recuperation holiday after 30 days of 'hard work' in the HIL. Then they will return to conduct a camp before flying for the World Cup. Where does that leave the bracket to do the development work, which is also key role in their job profile?

India have also decided to skip the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup to prepare for the World Cup. Wouldn't it have been prudent to ask Walsh's assistant coaches MK Kaushik and V Baskaran to take a development squad to Malaysia?

Who will answer these seething questions? Who will explain this big slip-up? Will you, Hockey India?

IBNLive Sports

Nur Insafi a class above

By Jugjet Singh

NUR Insafi romped to their fifth straight win to show their class in Division Two A of the Malaysian Junior Hockey League yesterday.

Their latest victims were Marti Perlis, who fell 3-1 to Nur Insafi in Sungai Petani.

The Penang side now only have two more matches, and look good to beat SMK Syed Hassan and Star Ipoh.

Their closest rivals are Bakat MSSK/PHK, who have 12 points, but Nur Insafi have already beaten them 5-1.

RESULTS -- Division Two A: Nur Insafi 3 Matri Perlis 1, Star 1 1MAS Penang 1.

Division Two B: KL Sports School Juniors 1 MSP Pahang Juniors 3.

New Straits Times

Nur Insafi on a roll to playoff spot

By S. Ramaguru

KUALA LUMPUR: Nur Insafi continued their winning ways in Group A in Division Two of the MHC-MILO-NSC Malaysian Junior Hockey League (MJHL) with a 3-1 win over Matri of Perlis at the Sungai Petani Hockey Stadium.

The fifth straight win has virtually ensured Nur Insafi a berth in the second-round playoff for the title. They have 15 points with Bakat MSSK-PHK in second place on 12 points.

The top two teams from each of the three groups in Division Two qualify for the second-round playoff.

Abdul Muhaimin Aziz opened the scoring off a penalty corner for Nur Insafi in the eighth minute. But they had to wait until the 45th minute to increase the lead, this time through Mohamed Syamail.

Mohamed Syakir Suid managed to pull a goal back for Matri in the 60th minute but Nur Mushawir Hrsikesa added a third for Nur Insafi two minutes from time.

At the KL Hockey Stadium, MSS Pahang Juniors kept up the chase for a place in the second round playoff with a 3-1 win over KLSS Juniors-MSSWP in Group B. The Pahang team are in second place on 11 points. Olak-PKT lead the standings with 15 points.

Wan Mohamed Azlan (sixth minute) and Mohamed Isma Jazlan (11th and 52nd) netted for Pahang Juniors while Mohamed Fadhzil Ashraf (46th) scored for KLSS.

The league will take a two-week break and will resume on Feb 7.

The Star of Malaysia

Coach Dharma welcomes Revington’s help

By S. Ramaguru

National hockey coach, K. Dharmaraj (right) drilling the goalkeepers during a training session at the national hockey stadium in Bukit Jalil last week. - Filepic

KUALA LUMPUR: Ex-national hockey coach, Paul Revington is expected to attend Monday’s training session as he serves out his three months’ notice. And newly promoted chief coach, K. Dharmaraj doesn’t have a problem with that.

In fact, he sees it as a benefit to continue using the latter’s expertise until he leaves.

“He will join us for training today. I am sure his presence will benefit the players. I can use him as a consultant to the team. We will discuss the matter with him as he plans to stay on for the next three months,” said Dharmaraj.

Meanwhile, defenders Engku Abdul Malek and Azreen Rizal have withdrawn from the national hockey training squad.

Engku Abdul Malek withdrew after attending the week-long fitness session held earlier this month while Azreen pulled out on Friday.

Dharmaraj confirmed on Sunday that the two players had withdrawn from the team due to personal reasons.

With three players – Faizal Saari, S. Kumar, Mohamed Razie Rahim – playing in the Hockey India League, the training squad now have 30 players.

Dharmaraj, however, has no plans to replace the two players.

“I want to assess the other players in training before I include more players in the squad. I have several players in mind that I could call up,” he said.

The three players who Dharmaraj plans to call up are Mohamed Noor Faeez Ibrahim, Amir Farid, Hafifihafiz Hanafi.

Noor Faeez was initally selected, but decided against joining the team.

“Amir was not picked due to a drop in form while Hafifihafiz was injured. I will speak to all three first before making a decision.

“But it will all depend on my plans and whether there is a need for me to call up these players. All three are young and have a lot of potential,” he said.

A total of 35 players were selected by Paul Revington on Jan 16. Three days later, the South African quit the national team and Dharmaraj, who was earlier this month appointed as an assistant coach, was elevated to chief coach of the team.

Dharmaraj is now preparing the team for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh from March 13-23. The team’s priority this year is the Asian Games in South Korea in September.

But before that, Malaysia will be involved in the World Cup in Holland in May. The other two assignments are the FIH Champions Challenge I and the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

The Star of Malaysia

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