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.

Related article:


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.

Related article:


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.

Related article:


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.

Related article:

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.

Related article:


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.

Related article:


Friday, June 19, 2009

Phoenix Coyotes Wants to Extend Sale Deadline to 15 September

You already know that NHL franchise Phoenix Coyotes is now struggling financially and is on the verge of losing its Arizona base as Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie wants to buy the club and relocate to Hamilton, Ontario in Canada. Jim Balsillie-owned PSE Sports & Entertainment has made a $212.5 million bid to buy the club and the deadline of accepting any more bids ends on 29 June.

However, Phoenix Coyotes now wants to extend the deadline to 15 September in an attempt to provide other potential bidders some time to launch their bid. This is an attempt to keep the club base in Arizona, USA. However, I think, it would not be easy for the club to find many bidders at this time of global economic recession. One potential bidder could be Jerry Reinsdorf who currently owns the Chicago White Sox baseball club as well as NBA franchise Chicago Bulls.

Related article:

National Post

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

FIH Accepted Hockey India as a Full Member

Hockey India has been accepted as a full member of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) recently. FIH issued a letter addressed to Hockey India stating that it has given the full membership to Hockey India considering it as a sole governing body for hockey (both men and women).

India is going to organize men’s hockey world cup next year. However, there was an uncertainty over the hosting status of India as FIH ruled that India must have a separate formal body for hockey in order to organize world cup 2010. Now, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has recently set up Hockey India as a new governing body for Indian hockey and Hockey India recently applied to retain the full membership of FIH. So, it seems that there is no more problem for India to organize the tournament. Meanwhile, IOA also granted a full membership to Hockey India recently.

Related article:

The Hindu

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

International Hockey Federation Congratulated Newly Formed Hockey India

Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has recently formed Hockey India, the governing body of hockey in India. International Hockey Federation (FIH) has welcomed the move and congratulated the newly formed body which will control the game in the county. FIH also thanked Suresh Kalmadi, president of IOA, for taking the initiative to set up Hockey India.

FIH has also advised Hockey India president A.K. Mattoo to set up state hockey association for both men and women. After that, FIH would recognize Hockey India as the governing body for both Men’s and Women’s hockey in India. Upon getting this recognition would enable Hockey India to become the formal body to represent hockey in India and would be eligible to organize Men’s Hockey World Cup 2010 which is supposed to take place in India.

Related article:

The Hindu

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pakistan will not Take Part in Four-Nation Hockey Tournament in Moscow

Pakistan hockey team has followed the footstep of arch-rival India by pulling themselves out of Moscow’s four-nation hockey tournament which is due to take place in Moscow, Russia next month. Pakistan’s withdrawal from the tournament came after India had pulled out of the tournament recently. Pakistan coach Shahid Ali Khan said that Pakistan would not take part in the competition because there would not be any competitive team without India. The tournament is supposed to feature South Korea and host Russia too.

Pakistan would have taken part in the Moscow tournament only because of the match against India which they would consider as a preparation for world cup qualifying competition which begins in October. However, Pakistan will face England in a three-match test series in June and Pakistan Hockey Federation is trying to organize matches against top ranked teams like Germany, Netherlands and Spain before starting their world cup hockey qualifying campaign. Pakistan failed to qualify for next year’s hockey world cup as they failed to win the Asia Cup 2010 title after being lost to South Korea 1-0 in the tournament final.

Related article:

Monday, May 25, 2009

Zakir Hussain Syed on Pakistan’s Performance in Asia Cup Hockey 2009

Pakistan failed to ensure their place in the world cup hockey 2010 as they failed to win the Asia Cup Hockey 2009 title. Pakistan lost to South Korea 1-0 in the tournament final and thus failed to clinch the world cup spot. That is why, Zakir Hussain Syed, director general of former Pakistan Sports Board (PSB), thinks that Pakistan hockey team failed to achieve the objective they had before heading to Malaysia.

Well, I do not think that Pakistan had fared badly in the tournament. They defeated arch rivals India and then host Malaysia in the tournament semi final before losing to South Korea only by a goal. Pakistan had improved a lot on their poor performance in Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament that took place in Malaysia in March. Moreover, Pakistan has got some young talents from the tournament. However, it is true that they now have to go through a tough qualifying phase to reach the world cup hockey 2010. Now, let us see if Pakistan can successfully clinch their spot in the tournament.

Related article:
Daily Times

Monday, May 18, 2009

Bangladesh Coach on the Asia Cup Hockey 2009 Performance

You already know that Bangladesh finished 7th in the seven-team Asia Cup Hockey 2009 tournament which was recently held in Malaysia. Bangladesh’s performance in the tournament was so poor that they conceded 32 goals in four matches. In the first match, they were defeated by Japan 5-0, which was followed by three big margin victories including 7-1 defeat to Malaysia, 9-0 defeat to eventual champion South Korea and then 11-1 defeat to India.

Regarding their poor performance in the most prestigious tournament of Asia, Coach Gerhard Peter Rach said that he had an inexperienced team which lacked skill and was not enough experience of playing at the international level. Mr. Rach, who earlier coached India, has also admitted that Bangladesh hockey team is far behind to the other Asian powers, whom he has termed monsters, in terms of technique, power and psychological strength. Bangladesh coach has also said that Bangladesh team must improve on their skill if they are to go closer to those teams and he has also asked Bangladesh Hockey Federation to wake up from sleep. Now, let us see if Bangladesh hockey team can improve on their skill and hockey federation comes forward to develop hockey in the country.

Related article:


Sunday, May 17, 2009

South Korea Becomes Asia Cup Hockey 2009 Champion

South Korea has been the new champion of Asia Cup Hockey 2009, defeating Pakistan 1-0 in the final on Saturday. This has been the third Asia Cup title for South Korea after their triumph in 1993 and 1999. South Korea was excellent throughout the tournament as they did not lose any game. The first half was ended in goalless, before Kim Byung-hoon scored from a penalty corner in the 66th minute.

Pakistan started off well in the match, dominating in the first half. In fact, Pakistan created a number of chances, but Sohail Abbas, Muhammad Tariq and Rehan Butt missed scoring chances. However, the Koreans appeared with their top form in the second half, earning couple of early penalty corners. South Korea did not featured four of their important players including Jang Jong-hyun, and if South Korea lost the game, the coach Cho Myung-jun might have faced huge criticism, but his players justified his decisions clinching the title of the tournament.

Related article:

The Canadian Press

Friday, May 15, 2009

India Clinched the 5th Place at Asia Cup Hockey 2009

Indian hockey team might have failed to reach the semi final of the 8th Asia Cup Hockey tournament, but the men in blue could finish the tournament fifth after defeating Japan 5-1 convincingly today. India earlier defeated Bangladesh 11-1 in the 6th/7th place deciding match, and thus, qualified for the 5th place deciding match against Japan.

India got off to a good start in the match with Rajpal Singh scoring in the very first minute of the match, before Captain Sandeep Singh scoring the second goal in the 21st minute. However, Japan decreased India’s lead thanks to a field goal from Hiroki Sakamoto in the 32nd minute. India was leading 2-1 in the first half. To be honest, neither side performed accordingly, but India played better than Japan.

However, the match was not entertaining anyway. Tushar Khandker increased the lead to 3-1 for India in the 64th minute, just 3 minutes before Prabhjot Singh scoring the fourth goal of India. Khandker then scored another goal to make it 5-1.

Well, you might think that it was a good performance by Indian team. However, India did not have as much dominance over Japan as the score line might suggest. Still, it was better off to finish at the 5th place in the tournament. However, I do not see any scope to become happy with the performance of India’s performance. In fact, this has been first time, Indian team failed to reach the semi final of Asia Cup Hockey. They lost to Pakistan in the first match, and most surprisingly India was held to a 2-2 draw by China. In both the games, India conceded late goals to destroy their party and this has been a long-standing problem for the Indian team.

Indian team now has new coach and I think, it would be a challenge for the new coach to solve this problem ahead of next year’s Hockey World Cup 2009 which is all set to take place in India.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

India Crushed out of Asia Cup Hockey 2009

India has been crushed out of the ongoing Asia Cup 2009 hockey tournament after being held to a 2-2 draw with China today. With this draw, China has confirmed their progress to the semi final from Pool B. Pakistan had already reached the last four of the tournament after beating arch-rivals India 3-2 in their last match. No doubt, defending champion India’s departure in the tournament has come as a big shock to many hockey fans.

Indian team came to Malaysia with their Sultan Azlan Shah Cup success fresh in mind and they were considered to be host favorite in the tournament. However, the way India has failed to make it to the semi final it reminds me Indian cricket team’s departure from ICC World Cup 2007. India’s performance in the recent hockey tournaments has been pretty much satisfactory, and that is why, there were lots of expectation from India’s men’s hockey team. However, they failed to live up to the expectation of Indian fans.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Pakistan Reached Semi Final of Asia Cup 2009 Hockey, Beating India 3-2

Pakistan men’s hockey team defeated India 3-2, and thus, reaching the semi final of Asia Cup 2009 tournament. Pakistan earlier drew with China 1-1 in their tournament opener. Though India took an early lead in the match, Pakistan did not take long to equalize before taking leads in subsequent goals. It was an exciting affair between the two arch-rivals as both sides played attacking hockey throughout the match.

With this victory, Pakistan has taken a sweet revenge of their defeat to India in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament. In order to make it to the semi final, India now has to win over China in their last pool match. However, it would not be very easy for Team India as China also played attacking hockey in their first match against Pakistan and held them to a 1-1 draw.

India is the defending champion in the competition as they won the 7th Asia Cup event at their home ground in 2007. Naturally, India was considered to be the most favorite for the tournament, given India’s recent excellent performance. India recently won the title of Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament in Malaysia, before winning a hockey test series against New Zealand on New Zealand soil. So, it would be a huge disappointment for Indian hockey fans as well as for the players, if India fails to get into the last four of the tournament.

Related article:

Breaking news online

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Asia Cup Hockey 2009 Schedule

I clearly remember that 25 years ago, Asia Cup Hockey was considered to be one the top 3 events in this sports. At that time, India and Pakistan were the two super powers of world hockey. Especially, Pakistan was the top country. India was also a strong country. Even Bangladesh used to play well. In the last 10 years, both India and Pakistan have lost their glory and Asia Cup has lost its value a lot in world stage.

Asia Cup Hockey 2009 is taking place in Malaysia this time. It was originally to be held in Dubai but because of economic recession, Dubai stated that they cannot arrange the event and Malaysia agreed to do so. Thus, the tournament is already underway and some matches have been played. Today, I noticed that many people came in this blog for Asia Cup 2009 schedule. Well, we should have given schedule earlier. Anyway, here is the schedule.



Competing Teams


Group Stage

9 May 2009


Pakistan vs China

15:00 (Malaysian local time)

South Korea vs


17:00 (Malaysian local time)

Japan vs


19:00 (Malaysian local time)

10 May 2009


India vs


17:00 (Malaysian local time)

11 May 2009


Japan vs

South Korea

17:00 (Malaysian local time)

Bangladesh vs


19:00 (Malaysian local time)

12 May 2009


China vs


15:00 (Malaysian local time)

South Korea vs


17:00 (Malaysian local time)

Malaysia vs Japan

19:00 (Malaysian local time)

7th Place


14 May 2009


Pool A (4th) vs

Pool B (3rd)

15:00 (Malaysian local time)

Semi Final

14 May 2009


Pool A (1st) vs

Pool B (2nd)

17:00 (Malaysian local time)

Pool B (1st) vs

Pool B (2nd)

19:00 (Malaysian local time)

5th and 6th Place


15 May 2009


Winner of 7th Place Match vs

Pool A (3rd)

17:00 (Malaysian local time)

3rd and 4th Place Decider

16 May 2009


Losers of the Semi Final

17:00 (Malaysian local time)


16 May 2009


Winners of the Semi Final

19:30 (Malaysian local time)