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News for 16 April 2015

All the news for Thursday 16 April 2015

Upbeat India look to post win against New Zealand

HASTINGS (New Zealand): Having held World No. 2 Australia to a goal-less draw in their last match, the Indian women's hockey team will be looking to do better when and clinch a win when they take on hosts New Zealand in the quarterfinals of the Hawke's Bay Cup here on Thursday.

The Indian eves started on a poor note, losing to China and the USA, but came back strongly to give Australia a tough fight on Wednesday.

They showcased their strong defence, not allowing the mighty Aussies to score against them, while the forwards created opportunities for themselves, giving the opponents moments of panic.

However, they failed to convert the opportunities, which resulted in a draw.

Come on Thursday, India would be determined to post their first win of the tournament and avenge their 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games defeat against New Zealand.

"Our clash against Australia was tough as they are a strong team but the positives that came out was the manner in which we held them at bay. Goalkeeping was at its best yesterday and we will be looking at showcasing the same play tomorrow," said captain Ritu Rani ahead of Thursday's clash.

"What needs to click is converting the opportunities. Had we capitalised on the penalty stroke against Australia then the story would have been different. Yesterday's performance has boosted the girls and we are looking forward to tomorrow's clash. They (New Zealand) are again a strong team but we are confident of a better result," she added.

Director High Performance, Hockey India, Roelant Oltmans, said the current bunch of players have the hunger to learn and grow.

"This is a bunch of skillful players who have the hunger to learn and grow. This, they have proved in the last six months. Tomorrow's aim will be to first break the defence chain, maintain the ball possession and pounce on the opportunities. The idea is to keep it simple and not allow pressure to take the better of them," said Oltmans.

The Times of India

Europeans Championships land title sponsor

England Hockey and the European Hockey Federation announced online gambling operator Unibet as title sponsor of the EuroHockey Championships that take place in August in London at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The sponsorship will help England Hockey deliver a world-class event for spectators, athletes and volunteers, whilst enabling the event to be showcased in the best possible light to a 100million-strong European TV audience.

The Unibet EuroHockey Championships comprises 40 matches over 10 days with the women’s and men’s champions crowned over the weekend of 29 and 30 August.  It promises to be a fiercely contested tournament with Germany looking to defend both titles.

The demand to watch the international stars in action back on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has been high and as a result England Hockey has announced plans to increase the size of the stadium.

These additional tickets will be released on 27 April for existing bookers, and on 1 May to the general public.

If you are unable to enjoy the event in person, it will be broadcast across Europe with national terrestrial TV coverage in the UK, and via major broadcasters in European countries. Over 100million viewers are expected to tune into the coverage.

The President of the EHF, Marijke Fleuren said of the agreement: “I would like to congratulate England Hockey on securing a title sponsor for the EuroHockey Championships.

“From the outset all the stakeholders agreed that this Championships would be about putting the players first, also a core strategy of Unibet. We welcome Unibet and share its wish for players to play in a fair-play environment.”

Euro Hockey League media release

Gagan scores four as Namdhari beat Patiala to win title

Namdhari XI (white) and Patiala players in action on Wednesday. HI

Pune - Gagandeep Singh scored four goals to lead Namdhari XI to a 5-1 win over Hockey Patiala in the final of the 5th edition of the senior men’s National Championship (Division-B).

In the third-place match, Chandigarh Olympic Association thrashed Hockey Himachal 5-2. Incidentally, Chandigarh’s Gagandeep Singh was the top scorer in this match, with four goals.

The only difference between the two Gagandeeps was the manner in which they scored their goals. While the Chandigarh captain scored all his goals through penalty corners, all of the Namdhari XI player’s goals were scored from open play.

The final started well for Namdhari XI with Gagandeep converting in the 6th minute. Patiala, though, bounced back in the 12th minute as captain Anil Kumar converted a penalty corner, slamming the ball past the goalkeeper. Not fazed by the equaliser, Namdhari XI kept the pressure on and found goals at regular intervals. Gagandeep put his team ahead once again in the 16th minute. Avtar Singh converted a penalty corner in the 25th minute before Gagandeep (48th, 52nd) completed the rout.

In the third-place playoff, Himachal started on a high and took the lead in the 7th minute through Naurvi.

But their joy was short-lived as Gagandeep brought his team back in the next minute. Himachal again took the lead in the 18th minute through Vinod Dogra. Chandigarh then scored three goals in four minutes to surge ahead. Gagandeep scored in the 21st and 24th minutes, with Ranjodh Singh getting one in the 22nd minute.

The Chandigarh captain then scored his fourth in the 51st minute to seal the third place finish. — TNS

Punjab boys thrash Maharasthra 15-0 

Mysore: Defending champions Punjab continued their domination in the 5th junior men’s National Championship (Division-A) with a 15-0 demolition of Maharashtra. Ajit Pandit, who had scored four goals in Punjab’s 9-1 win over Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy (MPHA) yesterday, added five more to his tally. Baljinder Singh (13th, 30th and 57th minutes) got a hat-trick, while Harjeet Singh (27th, 51st), Shamsher Singh (37th, 38th) and Ajmer Singh (5th, 46th) scored two goals each. Sukhjeet Singh managed to get his name on the scorers’ list with goal in the last minute. In the other matches, MPH Academy beat Services Sports Control Board 7-4, Hockey Odisha beat Hockey Karnataka 3-0 and Manipur Hockey overcame Hockey Bhopal 5-2.

The Tribune

Coach Van Ass keen to rope in psychologist for hockey team

NEW DELHI: Conceding late goals by a fragile backline has been Indian's men hockey team's perennial bane which new chief coach Paul van Ass wants to eradicate by roping in a full-time psychologist for Sardar Singh and Co.

In the recently-concluded 24th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia, India conceded late goals in its first three matches to go out of the title reckoning but recovered in time to eventually bag the bronze medal in the prestigious six-nation tournament.

And India's new coach Van Ass said that he was fully aware about the leaky Indian defence before taking over the charge of the team from Australian Terry Walsh.

"What worries me is the defence. The defence was a cause of concern for me even before I came to India. Our defence is too bad. I think we lost a lot of games in the end phase earlier as well as in this tournament," Van Ass said.

For Van Ass, it's all in the mind and it can be sorted.

"It's all in the mind. The players tend to relax at times and that's when they commit mistakes."

Asked if a session or two with a professional psychologist will do a wonder for his wards, the chief coach said: "I am open to the idea. It is something which I have in my mind. But I will take a call on it as I go through the videos of our Azlan Shah matches and critically analyse the show by our boys."

In the past as well, India's foreign coaches Jose Brasa and Michael Nobbs had called on the need to appoint a psychologist with the team.

In fact, during Nobb's tenure a Bangalore-based psychologist Dr Chaitanya Sridhar, a former Sports Authority of India (SAI) employee, had briefly worked with the team.

A member of the coaching staff also agreed with Van Ass but said it is for the SAI and Hockey India to take ca final call on the matter.

"Any sort of help is always welcome. We can only give our recommendations but ultimately it is HI and SAI who has to take the final call," he said.

A senior player of the national team also aired the same feeling.

"Yes, the coach is right. It's all in the mind. Our habit is that we tend to get relax sometimes and that eventually cost us dearly," he said.

"During Brasa we had a few sessions with a psychologist and that was really helpful."

The Times of India

Blame game at MHAL... yet again

Sudheendra Tripathi

MUMBAI: Controversies and Mumbai Hockey, it seems, are inseparable partners. The Mumbai Hockey Association Ltd (MHAL), which ensures the smooth functioning of various hockey leagues in the city, is a spot of bother...for the umpteenth time.

City's Olympians and internationals have alleged that despite several requests, even protests, the MHAL has failed to hand deserving players membership at the MHAL.

The 'player membership issue' caught the ire of many former internationals when the MHAL inducted 61 members to its fold recently, many of whom are not players. Former internationals started sending membership applications as soon as they got a whiff that MHAL has started accepting memberships.

But according to a few Olympians, sufficient memberships were not offered to deserving players. MHAL secretary Ram Singh Rathor, though, insisted that the managing committee has followed the guidelines according to its constitution and also confirmed that the committee has received about 24 fresh applications which included players.

But Daljit Singh Chohan, member of MHAL's managing committee, alleged that rules were flouted while inducting the new 61 members. "The names of the new members are not known. They should have put up a list of new members on the notice board, but that did not happen. Memberships have been given away to those close to the officials. Just a handful of players have been included," Chohan fumed.

Rathor, for his part, confidently refuted charges and said that the scrutiny committee had finalized the list of new members after going through proper procedures.

"MHA's constitution does not differentiate between a player and a nonplayer. We have given membership to Olympians and internationals in our tenure. And this year, for the first time in the history of the association, we have given membership to women," Rathor said and added: "We have been more considerate towards the players. From the time we were elected we have given more memberships to players than any other committee. We are committed to the game of hockey."

The Times of India

Hockey India rings in the riches

Tushar Dutt

PUNE: Just before the 2010 hockey World Cup, India's players had decided to skip training sessions in protest of non payment of monthly salaries due to them from the national association.

Now, things have changed so much that Hockey India offered Pakistan Hockey Federation financial help to get the sport in their country back on track.

Though PHF didn't accept the offer, the development has clearly pointed to the fillip India's national sport has received, thanks to the Hockey India League and the revenue generated from television rights.

Irrespective of its status five years ago, HI today enjoys an eight-digit yearly profit. Its 2013-14 balance sheet shows a total profit of Rs 7.85 crore.

In complete contrast, HI had a marginal profit of Rs 59.7 lakh in 2010, followed by a slump in 2011 with a profit of just Rs 14.7 lakh. The worst came in 2012 when the hockey body suffered a huge loss of more than Rs 2 crore.

Going by the increasing 'red entries' in the balance sheet, HI's future was in doldrums. But the body probably surprised even its auditors by earning a profit of Rs 3.71 crore the next year.

The figure was more appealing as it appeared after settling the previous year's deficit. Among the many non cricket sporting leagues in the country, HIL is perhaps the only profit-making league giving more than contributory satisfaction to all its stakeholders.

HI president Narinder Batra said when they started the league, they didn't expect it to make profits. "All we were praying for was to break even. But the league turned out to be much more than that."

Less dependence on government money will make the sport more independent. Batra knows it well. "We will be adding two more teams to the HIL from this year. It will be an eight-team affair," said the official.

And yes, the players still don't get salaries to play for India. But the addition of HIL with government jobs have taken the threat of boycott out of the window.

Money matters: 2010: Profit of Rs 59,72,068, 2011: Profit of Rs 14,72,571, 2012: Loss of Rs 2,00,95,267, 2013: Profit of Rs 3,71,98,988, 2014: Profit of Rs 7,85,32,182.

The Times of India

Stats Speak: Medalist Indian Hockey Couples

By B.G.Joshi

Sehore-Bhopal, India - In 108 years of International Hockey, following Indian couples (Husband-Wife) have won the medals in FIH/ regular Continentals tournaments.  Read- player (ladies first)-Year-Venue-Tournament-Medal:

Couple Year Venue Tournament Medal
Rajbir Kaur 1982 New Delhi Asian Games Gold
Gurmail Singh 1980 Moscow Olympics Gold
Masira Surin 2002 Manchester Commonwealths Gold
  2004 New Delhi Asia Cup Gold
Ignace Tirkey 2003 Kuala Lumpur Asia Cup Gold
  2007 Chennai Asia Cup Gold
Nidhi Khullar 1998 Bangkok Asian Games Silver
Mukesh Kumar 1998 Bangkok Asian Games Gold

Following couple is unfortunate missing medal by whisker:

Couple Year Venue Tournament Medal
Chanchal Randhawa 1974 Cannes-Mandelieu-FRA World Cup 4th
Late Surjit Singh 1975 Kuala Lumpur World Cup Gold


Scottish Hockey to livestream Scottish Cup & Plate finals

Scottish Hockey to webcast live multi-camera coverage of Men's and Women's Scottish Cup & Plate Finals on YouTube.

Scottish Hockey is delighted to announce that the Scottish Cup & Plate finals will be webcast live from the Glasgow National Hockey Centre on Saturday 18 April, starting at 10am.

The Glasgow2014 venue will play host to four matches throughout the day with teams from across Scotland competing in both men’s and women’s competitions:

    1000h Women's Scottish Plate Final - Dundee Wanderers v Edinburgh University III
    1200h Men's Scottish Plate Final - PSL Team Sport Clydesdale v Falkirk GHG
    1400h Women's Scottish Cup Final - Milne Craig Clydesdale Western v Grove Menzieshill
    1600h Men's Scottish Cup Final - Grange v Edinburgh University

Each match will be available live on Scottish Hockey’s YouTube Channel with match highlights available later in the week.

Scottish Hockey is proud to present this coverage in association with Creative Loop, which works closely with Scotland’s education sector to bridge the gap between Scotland’s creative media industry and education.

The partnership has been formed with Creative Loop to provide training legacy from Glasgow2014 Host Broadcaster Training Initiative.

The Glasgow 2014 Host Broadcaster Training Initiative (HBTI) was the TV training initiative for Scotland’s students and began in the run up to and during the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games in order to guarantee a legacy from Glasgow2014.

The HBTI saw students from Scotland’s educational institutions trained to sufficient proficiency and experience to participate in live sports broadcasts.

Creative Loop administered the Glasgow2014 Host Broadcaster Training Initiative, which placed over 200 young people in Scotland in a variety of technical and editorial roles with Games’ host-broadcaster SVGTV.

The live coverage of these Cup Finals is another opportunity to provide a training legacy for those young people.

The students will spend the day developing their talent and skills alongside established industry professionals from Glasgow-based QTV Sports.

Commentary will be provided by ex-Scotland international and former GB Men’s coach Niall Sturrock and Sam Judge, who made 199 appearances for the Scotland Women’s hockey team.

Visit Scottish Hockey’s YouTube Channel to watch all the action.

Follow updates on Twitter using #HockeyFinals

Scottish Hockey Union media release

NBP to defend title as National Junior Hockey begins

Anwar Zuberi

KARACHI: Formidable National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) will start the defence of their crown when they take on Railways on the opening day of the 34th National Junior (under-20) Hockey Championship which begins at the Hockey Club of Pakistan Stadium on Thursday.

In the preceding two matches, Army faces Khyber Pakhtunkhwa while Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) is pitted against Punjab “B”.

According to draws, 12 teams will be vying for honours in the competition which is an annual event of the PHF calendar.and concludes on April 24. The number of teams is four less then last year. The quartet that has pulled out from the event includes Customs, Islamabad, Pakistan Steel and Sindh “B”,

After completing league matches, top two teams from each group will qualify for the quarter-finals that will be played on April 20 and 21. The semi-finals are slated for April 23 while the final and third position play-off is fixed for April 24.

The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has named former Olympian Anjum Saeed as tournament director.

The event is being organised by the Karachi Hockey Association (KHA) in collaboration with the provincial ministry of sports. All the teams have reached here for the event.

It is pertinent to mention that National Bank dethroned holders Wapda 2-1 to win the national junior title at the same venue last year.

The details of the event were announced by the PHF secretary Rana Mujahid, Secretary Sports Sindh, Laiq Ahmed and Karachi Hockey Association (KHA) secretary Mohammad Farooq Khan at a joint press conference held at the HCP Stadium on Wednesday.

Also present among others were chairman PHF selection committee Islahuddin Siddiqui, ex Olympians Iftikhar Syed, Shahid Ali Khan and Musheer Rabbani.

At the outset, the PHF secretary thanked the KHA for playing host to the event for the second year running with the support of ministry of sports Sindh.

He said the selectors will remain in attendance and identify pool of talented players who will be groomed to carry the responsibilities in future.

Speaking on the occasion, Laiq said it was an honour for the Sindh government to lend support in staging the event as people were eagerly waiting to see revival of national game.

He said the performances by Pakistan hockey team at international events held in the recent past were encouraging and the credit goes to the PHF.


A: National Bank of Pakistan, Railways, Balochistan.
B: PIA, SSGC, Punjab “B”.
C: Wapda, Pakistan Boards, Sindh “A”.
D: Army, Punjab “A”, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Thursday’s fixtures:

Army v Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at 9am; SSGC v Punjab “B” at 3pm; National Bank v Railways at 5pm.


‘PHF ready for audit of accounts’

Anwar Zuberi

KARACHI: The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary Rana Mujahid has reiterated the stance that the PHF is ready for the audit of its five-year accounts – 2009 to 2014 – by the government.

“The PHF hierarchy had a fruitful meeting with the Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif, who is also patron-in-chief of the PHF, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Pervaiz Rashid and Minister for Inter-provincial Coordination (IPC) Riaz Hussain Pirzada in Islamabad three-four days back pertaining to the issue,” he told journalists on Wednesday.

Answering a volley of questions, he said the PHF chief had briefed the current scenario to the competent authorities in addition to the national hockey team’s future commitments and sounded optimistic that the financial issue would be resolved soon.

The former Olympian said that earlier the government auditors have objected on some points including incurring money on sending journalists abroad with the teams for coverage and we’ve convinced them that this was not a new practice.

He went on to say that the PHF Congress is the competent forum which annually give its nod on audited and budget statements. Auditors Aslam and Company is carrying out the PHF audit before the year 2,000, he added.

He added that the PHF also send its annual audited reports to the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB).

Rana Mujahid thanked the Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif with whose help the training camp has started.

He agreed with a questioner that a long tiff (now resolved) between the former Olympians had damaged the game to a large extent.

“We talk to our Indian counterparts on even terms and want to have good relations with them,” he said when asked about the financial offer that has come across the border recently and taken aback the whole nation.

He said efforts were afoot to revive the marketing department by hiring competent people. We’ve initiated to organise a four-nation contest at home aimed at raising funds but as of Wednesday, two teams have refused.


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