Saturday, August 1, 2009

Indian Hockey Team Started Their European Tour with 3-1 Defeat to England

India has got off to an unimpressive start to their European tour as they lost their first match to England 3-1. This was India’s first match under their new Spanish coach Jose Brasa. So, naturally, it was not a good start for the new coach as well. However, the only positive sign of India’s performance was that Indian players could create a number of chances, and had their forwards not missed those chances, the result of the match could have come in India’s favor.

India conceded a goal on the first minute when Ben Hawes scored for England. However, it took 7 minutes for India to equalize when Dhananjay Mahadik scored from India’s first penalty corner. Then England scored the 2nd goal thanks to Barry Middleton just ten minutes later. Indian players suffered a lot in the first half of the match mainly because of rain which made the turf slippery and the visitors faced many problems in adjusting with the condition. England was leading 2-1 at the halftime.

Rain stopped in the second half and India tried their best to equalize as they created a number of chances. However, England’s Richard Smith scored the 3rd goal in the 68th minute, and thus, ensuring an easy victory for the host. Two more matches are left in the three-match test series between India and England.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

India Men’s Hockey Team Going to Tour Europe

India men’s hockey team is going to tour Europe during which it will face four European teams in a total 12 test matches. The tour starting on July 27 includes four tests against England, three tests against Belgium and Spain each and two matches against Holland. The 25-day tour will see India playing under new coach Jose Brasa for the first time.

Indian selectors have already announced 24-men squad led by defender Sandeep Singh. Indian team is now training in Pune ahead of the tour. However, team India will miss the service of Dilip Tirkey who is currently suffering from ankle injury.

India’s very recent form is not satisfactory at all as they finished fifth in this year’s Asia Cup in Malaysia. India will host next year’s world cup, and that is why, Indian team wants to gain some experience playing against some of the European giants. Now, let us see if Indian players bring about some satisfactory results in their European tour in what would erase the disappointing memory of Asia Cup to some extent.

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Friday, July 3, 2009

NHL Wants Jerry Reinsdorf to Buy Phoenix Coyotes to Keep the Base in Arizona

National Hockey League (NHL) has backed the $148 million bid of Jerry Reinsdorf to buy the cash-strapped Phoenix Coyotes. Even though Jim Balsillie, a billionaire from Canada, earlier made a bid worth $212.5 million to get the ownership of the franchise, NHL still wants Judge Redfield Baum will accept the bid made by Reinsdorf who also owns Chicago White Sox baseball and Chicago Bulls basketball clubs.

NHL wants to keep the Coyotes base in Arizona and this could be possible if Reinsdorf buys the franchise. On the other hand, a Balsillie take-over of the Phoenix Coyotes would move the club base to Canada. Well, it is now down to the court to decide whom the franchise will be sold to. So far, both Reinsdorf and Balsillie have equal chances to buy Phoenix Coyotes.

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Monday, June 29, 2009

India Women’s Hockey Team Won Champions Challenge Tournament

India clinched the title of first women’s champions challenge tournament recently defeating Belgium 6-3 in Russia. With this victory, India qualified for Champions Challenge I tournament which will take place in 2011 and the winner of that tournament will take part in the 2012 Champions Trophy.

India was in dominant form throughout the final match, giving no chance to Belgium. The victory came thanks to four goals from youngster Rani Rampal who finished the tournament as the highest scorer and was awarded the Young Player of the tournament award. Rani was also the best player in the final game.

India took lead in the 17th minute when Rani scored a field goal, just 3 minutes before Saba Anjum scoring the second goal. India was leading 2-0 in the game, but India ensured their victory scoring four goals early in the second half including 3 goals from Rani’s stick. Another goal came from Chanchan Devi. Belgian captain Valerie Vermeersch scored two goals in the 40th and 52nd minutes, before Jill Boon scoring the third goal for Belgium in the 55th minute.

Indian captain Surinder Kaur who had been in excellent form throughout the tournament was given the player of the tournament award.

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The Hindu

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Pakistan Looking for a World Cup Place without Playing Qualifying Round

Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has made an official request to International Hockey Federation (FIH) to increase the number of participating teams in Hockey World Cup 2010 from 12 to 16. In fact, the Hockey World Cup 2002, which held in Kuala Lumpur, featured 16 teams, but FIH later on dropped the number of participants to 12. As of now, the next world cup 2010 will feature 12 teams, but it has been reported that FIH may accept PHF’s request by increasing the number of competing teams in the tournament.

In fact, some of the top PHF officials met FIH president Leandro Negre in Malaysia earlier this month and talked about this matter. If FIH agrees to increase the number to 16, then Pakistan would earn an automatic world cup berth as the second best team from Asia. Pakistan became runner up in this year’s Asia Cup, losing to South Korea in the final. So, South Africa has guaranteed their place in the world cup, while Pakistan would have to go though qualifying round in order to clinch a place in the world cup if the number of team remains 12. However, nothing is confirmed in this regard whether FIH would definitely accept Pakistan’s request.

To be honest, I also think that the number of participating teams should be increased to 16 because field hockey is not yet a very popular game in all parts of the world. So, for the development of the game, FIH should ensure the involvement of as much teams in its elite tournament as possible.

Related article:

Times of India

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Brett Hull to be Inducted to Hockey Hall of Fame

Brett Hull is going to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on 9 November in Toronto, Canada. The former NHL star has admitted the news and expressed his delight on this regard. Brett will now join his father Bobby Hull who was placed in the hall of fame in 1983 because of his excellent contribution to the game.

Brett Hull, who is currently serving as an executive of Dallas Stars, scored 741 regular season goals during his illustrious career. In 1990-91, Brett was awarded the Hart Trophy as he became the most valuable player in the league, having scored 86 goals that season. So, there is no doubt, Brett deserves to be inducted to the Hall of Fame.

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Rocky Mountain Rage to Sit Out for 2009-2010 Season

Rocky Mountain Rage, a hockey team of Central Hockey League, is now going to sit out for the 2009-2010 season. The decision was taken recently as they club is now aiming to settle its financial issues. For example, Rage wants a new ownership agreement as well as needs finances. Moreover, the club is looking forward to getting Broomfield Event Center as their home ground on lease for a longer term. In fact, the club finished its third season at the ground. However, Rocky Mountain Rage has also confirmed that the club would return to action in 2010-2011 season.

It is really very hard for the fans of Rage hockey team because they will miss the actions of the club next season. Still, I think, it was a right decision not to take part in the league next season because this is the time of economic recession when financial terms are much more important then anything else. Otherwise, it could make some long-term problem for the club.

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