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Saturday, February 27, 2010


Can you identify this person connected to India ?

Everyone is watching the Indo – SA one dayers and most of them know of the IPL 3 but not many would know that prestigious World Cup is about to begin tomorrow at New Delhi. It is known as Hero Honda FIH 2010 World Cup; this is the second time that India is hosting, the previous one being at Mumbai in 1982. During the two weeks long Hockey World Cup 2010, thirty matches will be played including final. India play arch rivals Pak tomorrow.

It is our national game and a game where India was very formidable in the mid part of the last century, having won 11 Olympic medals which included eight golds. Gradually demise of the game has seen the Nation miss out the Olympic game in 2008. Sadly, we have not won a single medal in a major international competition for long now.

The performance in World cup has also been abysmal – now the Nation counts on captain Rajpal Singh, star striker Prabhjot Singh and the fleet-footed Shivendra Singh, Arjun Halappa and goalkeeper Adrian D'Souza to do noteworthy performance. India have been drawn into a tough group in Delhi, which includes Champions Trophy holders Australia, European champions England, Olympic silver medalists Spain and four time world champions Pakistan. Our best result came way back in 1975 at Kuala Lumpur with the podium topping performance. After that the best has been finishing at no. 5.  This WC will be the 12th tourney and is being held at New Delhi Dhyan Chand National Stadium from Feb 28 to Mar 13 – 2010. This should certainly promote the game but the preparations have been far from good with the sponsorship fracas turning out to be very bitter as players threatened to pull out.

Twelve teams compete in the tournament & the qualifying tournaments were held in 2009. The qualification criteria is that one each of the continental champion from five confederations and host receive an automatic berth. There are two pools which were announced by the Federation on 15th Dec 2009. In each pool, all the teams will play against each other, 3 points go the winner, one point to each team in the event of a draw. In each pool, teams are to be ranked according to the number of points each has accumulated in the competition. In Pool A are : Germany, Nederlands, Korea, Newzealand, Canada, & Argentina; in B – Australia, Spain, England, Pak, SA and India vie with each other.

The Hockey World Cup also called World championship is an international field hockey that was first conducted at Barcelona in 1971. Ten nations participated then, which grew to fourteen by 1978, and then sixteen by 2002. The 2010 Hockey World Cup, coincidentally, also features ten nations.  Pak has dominated this tournament with 4 wins and 2 runner up position. Second comes Nederlands with 3 title wins; Germany has won 2 ; India & Aussies have both claimed the trophy once. Here is a year by year account of the tournaments that went by.
The inaugural one in 1971 was won by Pak; India finished runner up. The next one at Amstelveen in 1973 was won by Nederlands with India finishing runner up again. In 1975 at Kuala Lumpur India won 2-1 against Pakistan. The 5th one at Bombay was won again by Pak with India relegated to 5th spot. The last version was in 2006 held at Mönchengladbach, where the host won beating Australia. India finished 11th.

Rob Short (Canada) is the oldest player at 37. There are 28players over 30 years old in the competition, 7 of them in the Canadian squad. Muhammad Umar Bhutta (Pakistan) is the youngest player at17. Altogether, there are 11 teenagers in the competition (4 for Pakistan, 2 for Canada and New Zealand and 1 each for Germany, The Netherlands and Spain). Paul Litjens of the Netherlands holds the record for most goals scored in a single tournament. In 1978 Litjens scored 15 goals. He is also the all time top scorer in WC history with 26 goals, Pak’s 38 goals in 1982 is the most goals by a team in a single edition.

The Indian Team : Adrian D Souza (GK), Sandeep Singh, Arjun Halappa, Prabjhor Singh, Sardar Singh, Guruwindr Singh Chandi, Deepak Thakur, Sarvanjit singh, Gurbaj singh, Tushar khandker, Rajpal singh ©, sreejesh P Raveendran (GK), Shivendra singh, Bharat, Dhananjay Mahadik, Vikram Pillay, Danish Mujtaba & Diwakar. Spaniard Jose Brasa has been appointed as the coach of the Indian hockey team. He has been contracted reportedly for $111,415 per year as remuneration while the physical trainer Terez will get $79,600.

The photo at the start of the article is that of the coach Jose Brasa and here are photos of  Rajpal singh, Prabhjot and Arjun halappa

For the tourney, a match shall consist of a regulation time of two periods of 35 minutes each, separated by an interval of 10 minutes. The score at the end of the regulation timewill be registered by the FIH as the result of the match. Extra-Time: To establish an outright winner of a classification match for the purpose of the competition, the duration of that match shall be extended if, at the end of the regulation time, the result is a draw. After a 5-minute rest the umpires will toss a coin with the captains and the winner will have the choice of ends or possession of the ball to re-start the match. The extension of time will consist of two periods of 7½ minutes each in between which teams must change ends, without a rest period. If the score is still equal at the end of the extra-time, a penalty stroke competition will be played to establish the winner of the match.

Let us look forward to some high quality matches ending up with the saying “may the best team win’ and let that be our own National Team

All the best to ‘Team India’ for a medal finish

Regards – S Sampathkumar.

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