Shah Rukh Khan Part of Hockey World Cup Opening Ceremony

Article and Image courtesy

ollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan (SRK) has extended his support to the Indian hockey team in the forthcoming Hockey World Cup in Bhubanesvar. SRK took to Twitter to urge everyone to get behind Team India and support the game.

As part of the promotion for the 'Heartbeat for hockey' campaign, Shahrukh said, "Hockey is the song of my heart. It is that time of my youth that is forever etched in my consciousness. I follow the game and watching the game gets my pulse racing even now. We have a young and promising team and they have my unconditional support. They are my heroes and I pledge my heartbeat for India, for the Indian team and for hockey."

With the superstar firmly behind the team, it is certain that the sport will attract a larger fan base to see the battle of the finest hockey talent as India play the rest of the world in the Bhubanesvar World Cup.

Khan has always been an ardent fan of the game and used to play hockey in his school days. Recalling his childhood dream to play for the country, he had earlier this year, expressed a sentiment for his five-year-old son, AbRam to grow up to be a hockey player and represent the country at the international stage.

Mr. Khan was also instrumental in popularising the sport in the country a decade back when he played the iconic role of hockey coach, Kabir Khan in the sports movie Chak de! India.

The chief minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik, said, "Shahrukh Khan is one of the greatest icons of this generation, and a role model for the youth of the country. Mr. Khan's support for hockey will not only motivate the team, but it will also catalyse the nation to join this movement for hockey, and I thank him for the same. The people of Odisha, worldwide hockey fans in Odisha for the World Cup, and indeed the Kalinga Stadium look forward welcoming him as we cheer the finest talent and the sport at the highest level."

Mr. Khan accepted the invitation urged all Indians to join him at the World Cup, saying, "My heart beats for hockey, and I will be at the Odisha Hockey Men's World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018. Are you game?"

India, Pakistan Joint Winners Of Hero Asian Champions Trophy Hockey

Photograph credit Asian Hockey Federation

he 6-nation Hero Men's Asian Champions Trophy hockey tournament was held at the 3,000-seater Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Muscat, Oman, from October 18-28, 2018. This was the first time a continental-level hockey tournament was taking place in Oman - the only country in the Persian Gulf with a competitive hockey team.

The participating countries were India (world no. 5), Malaysia (no. 12), Pakistan (no. 13), South Korea (no. 14), Japan (no. 16) and host Oman (no. 33). All matches were shown live in India on Star Sports 2.

The India-Pakistan match saw the Pakistani coach Mohammad Saqlain get into a tiff with the Pakistani manager Hassan Sardar, after which coach Saqlain left the tournament midway and returned to Pakistan.

India and Pakistan finished as joint winners of the tournament when rain washed out the final. India's match results were as follows:

Stage Date Result Goal Scorers - India
Round Robin Oct 18 India 11 - Oman 0 Lalit Kumar Upadhyay (17 min)
Harmanpreet Singh (22 min), PC
Neelakantha Sharma (23 min)
Mandeep Singh (30 min)
Gurjant Singh (37 min)
Dilpreet Singh (41-PC, 55-PC, 57 min)
Akashdeep Singh (48 min)
Varun Kumar (49 min), PC
Chinglensana Singh Kangujam (53 min), PC
  Oct 20 India 3 - Pakistan 1 Manpreet Sngh (24 min)
Mandeep Singh (31 min)
Dilpreet Singh (42 min)
Oct 21 India 9 - Japan 0 Lalit Kumar Upadhyay (4, 45 min)
Mandeep Singh (49-PC, 57 min)
Gurjant Singh (8 min), PC
Harmanpreet Singh (17-PS, 21-PC min)
Akashdeep Singh (36 min)
Sumit (42 min)
  Oct 23 India 0 - Malaysia 0  
  Oct 24 India 4 - South Korea 1 Harmanpreet Singh (5, 47, 59 min), all PCs
Gurjant Singh (10 min)
Semi-final Oct 27 India 3 - Japan 2 Gurjant Singh (19 min)
Chinglensana Singh (44 min), PC
Dilpreet Singh (55 min)
Final Oct 28 India vs. Pakistan Abandoned due to rain. Joint Winners declared

The final standings were as follows: Joint 1st - India, Pakistan, 3 - Malaysia, 4 - Japan, 5 - South Korea, 6 - Japan

India ended up as the only unbeaten team in the tournament, courtesy of 4 wins and 1 draw.

The following were the individual awards:

  • Player of the Tournament: Akashdeep Singh (IND)
  • Top Scorer of the Tournament: Faisal Saari (MAS)
  • Goalkeeper of the Tournament: P. R. Sreejesh (IND)
  • Emerging Player of the Tournament: Abu Bakkar Mahmood (PAK)

This was India's last international tournament before the season-ending Men's World Cup, which will be held in Bhubanesvar from November 28 to December 16, 2018.

The Indian team for the 5th Men's Asian Champions Trophy hockey tournament was as follows:

Goalkeepers: P. R. Sreejesh, Krishan Bahadur Pathak

Defenders: Varun Kumar, Harmanpreet Singh, Gurinder Singh, Kothajeet Singh Khadangbam, Surender Kumar, Jarmanpreet Singh, Hardeek Singh

Midfielders: Manpreet Singh (captain), Sumit, Neelakantha Sharma, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Chinglensana Singh Kangujam (vice captain)

Forwards: Akashdeep Singh, Dilpreet Singh, Gurjant Singh, Mandeep Singh

Officials: Harendra Singh (chief coach), Chris Ciriello (manager)

India Settle For Silver In 8th u-21 Sultan Of Johor Cup

India score against Malaysia in the Sultan of Johor Cup, photograph by Hockey India

he 8th Sultan of Johor Cup 6-nation, u-21 hockey tournament was played in the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, from October 6-13, 2018. All matches were telecast live on the RTM network in Malaysia.

The following six countries participated in the tournament - Australia, Great Britain, India, Japan, Malaysia and New Zealand.

Some of India's top junior players were sent to the Youth Olympic Games hockey competition, which was taking place in Buenos Aires at the same time. As a result, the Indian team for the Sultan of Johor Cup had 10 players making their international debut. The same was the case with Australia and Malaysia, whose core juniors were in Buenos Aires for the Youth Olympic Games.

Stage Date Result Goal Scorers - India
Round Robin Oct 6 India 2 - Malaysia 1 Harmanjeet Singh (12 min)
Shilanand Lakra (46 min)
  Oct 7 India 7 - New Zealand 1 Prabhjyot Singh (6 min)
Shilanand Lakra (15, 43 min)
Harmanjeet Singh (21 min)
Mohammad Faraz (23 min), PC
Abhishek (50 min)
Mandeep Mor (60 min), PC
  Oct 9 India 1 - Japan 0 Mandeep Mor (42 min), PC
  Oct 10 India 5 - Australia 4 Gursahibjeet Singh (6 min)
Haspreet Singh (11 min)
Mandeep Mor (14 min), PC
Vishnukant Singh (15 min)
Shilanand Lakra (43 min)
  Oct 12 Great Britain 3 - India 2 Vishnukant Singh (5 min), PC
Shilanand Lakra (20 min), PC
Final Oct 13 Great Britain 3 - India 2 Gursahibjeet Singh (4 min)
Abhishek (55 min)

The final placings were as follows: 1 - Great Britain, 2 - India, 3 - Australia, 4 - Japan, 5 - Malaysia, 6 - New Zealand

The India team for the 2018 Sultan of Johor Cup was as follows:

Goalkeepers: Pankaj Rajak, Kamalbeer Singh

Players: Mandeep Mor (captain), Suman Beck, Harmanjeet Singh, Haspreet Singh, Prince, Gursahibjeet Singh, Vishnukant Singh, Abhishek, Vishal Antil, Varinder Singh, Gopi Kumar Sonkar, Yashdeep Sivach, Prabhjyot Singh, Somjeet, Mohammad Faraz, Shilanand Lakra

Officials: Jude Sebastian Felix (coach), Bharat Kumar Chetri (manager)

India Settle For Silver In Youth Olympic Games (Men, Women)

he 3rd Youth Olympic Games (YOG) hockey tournament was held at the at the Parque Polideportivo Roca Stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from Oct 7-14, 2018. The tournament was restricted to players between the ages of 15 to 18 years, and was held in the Hockey 5s format.

All matches were broadcast live via the Olympic Channel and their broadcast partners. The Hockey5s event proved a popular spectator draw, attracting over 100,000 spectators across the eight days of competition.

The following are the differences between Hockey 5s and a regular international hockey match:

  • Reduction in number of players: 5 a side, instead of 11 a side
  • Reduction in field size: 48 m x 32 m, instead of 91 m x 55 m
  • Reduction of playing time: 2 halves of 10 minutes each, instead of 4 quarters of 15 minutes each
  • Reduction in Stoppage TIme: Shin-high side boards in Hockey 5s ensure ball never goes out and is always in play

At the last minute, Jude Felix was sidelined as coach of the YOG men's team, and instead was made coach of the team for the Sultan of Johor u-21 tournament. Felix told the Indian Express: "I was very shocked to know I wasn't a part of the YOG team. Utterly disappointed. There was absolutely no communication. I was told only after my assistance was taken in selecting the team."

The Men's Hockey 5s comprised the following twelve teams:

  • Pool A: Argentina, Malaysia, Mexico, Poland, Vanuatu, Zambia
  • Pool B: Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Canada, India, Kenya

The Indian men finished with the silver medal in the Youth Olympic Games Hockey 5s tournament, with the following match results:

Stage Date Result Goal Scorers - India
Pool Oct 7 India 10 - Bangladesh 0 2 goals each - Rabichandra Moirangthem, Sudeep Chirmako, Vivek Sagar Prasad
1 goal each - Maninder Singh, Rahul Kumar Rajbhar, Sanjay, Shivam Anand
  Oct 8 India 9 - Austria 1 4 goals - Sudeep Chirmako
3 goals - Shivam Anand
1 goal each - Sanjay, Vivek Sagar Prasad
  Oct 9 India 7 - Kenya 1 2 goals each - Sudeep Chirmako, Rabichandra Moirangthem
1 goal each - Rahul Kumar Rajbhar, Sanjay, Vivek Sagar Prasad
  Oct 10 Australia 4 - India 3 2 goals - Vivek Sagar Prasad
1 goal - Shivam Anand
  Oct 11 India 5 - Canada 2 2 goals - Sanjay
1 goal each - Shivam Anand, Rahul Kumar Rajbhar, Sudeep Chirmako
Quarter-final Oct 12 India 4 - Poland 2 2 goals - Shivam Anand
1 goal each - Maninder Singh, Sanjay
Semi-final Oct 13 India 3 - Argentina 1 2 goals - Sudeep Chirmako
1 goal - Rahul Kumar Rajbhar
Final Oct 14 Malaysia 4 - India 2 2 goals - Vivek Sagar Prasad

The final standings in the Men's Hockey 5s were as follow: 1 - Malaysia, 2 - India, 3 - Argentina, 4 - Zambia, 5 - Poland, 6 - Australia, 7 - Austria, 8 - Bangladesh, 9 - Mexico, 10 - Canada, 11 - Kenya, 12 - Vanuatu

The Indian men's team for the Men's Hockey 5s was as follows:

Players: Vivek Sagar Prasad (captain), Pavan (goalkeeper), Prashant Chauhan (goalkeeper), Shivam Anand, Rajbhar Rahul Kumar, Maninder Singh, Sanjay, Sudeep Chirmako, Rabichandra Moirangthem

Coach: Bollepanda Joyappa Kariappa

The Women's Hockey 5s comprised the following twelve teams:

  • Pool A: Argentina, Austria, India, South Africa, Uruguay, Vanuatu
  • Pool B: Australia, China, Mexico, Namibia, Poland and Zimbabwe

The Indian women finished with the silver medal in the Youth Olympic Games Hockey 5s tournament, with the following match results

Stage Date Result Goal Scorers - India
Pool Oct 7 India 4 - Austria 2 2 goals - Lalremsiami
1 goal each - Salima Tete, Mumtaz Khan
  Oct 8 India 2 - Uruguay 1 2 goals - Lalremsiami
  Oct 9 India 16 - Vanuatu 0 4 goals - Mumtaz Khan
3 goals - Chetna
2 goals each - Salima Tete, Reet, Baljeet Kaur, Lalremsiami
1 goal - Ishika Chaudhary
  Oct 10 Argentina 5 - India 2 1 goal each - Mumtaz Khan, Reet
  Oct 11 India 5 - South Africa 2 2 goals - Mumtaz Khan
1 goal each - Reet, Lalremsiami, Ishika Chaudhary
Quarter-final Oct 12 India 3 - Poland 0 1 goal each - Lalremsiami, Salima Tete, Baljeet Kaur
Semi-final Oct 13 India 3 - China 0 1 goal each - Reet, Mumtaz Khan, Lalremsiami
Final Oct 14 Argentina 3 - India 1 1 goal - Mumtaz Khan

The final standings in the Women's Hockey 5s were as follow: 1 - Argentina, 2 - India, 3 - China, 4 - South Africa, 5 - Australia, 6 - Austria, 7 - Poland, 8 - Namibia, 9 - Uruguay, 10 - Zimbabwe, 11 - Mexico, 12 - Vanuatu

The Indian women's team for the Hockey 5s was as follows:

Players: Salima Tete (captain), Lalremsiami (vice-captain), Khushboo (goalkeeper), Reet, Baljeet Kaur, Ishika Chaudhary, Mumtaz Khan, Chetna, Bichu Kharibam

Coach: Baljeet Singh Saini

Sthal Sena (Army) Win 35th Surjeet Hockey Tournament

Photograph courtesy Surjit Hockey Society

he 35th Surjit Hockey Tournament was held at the Olympian Surjit Hockey Stadium in Jalandhar from October 23-31, 2018. Twelve teams from all over the country took part in the tournament, and were grouped into the following pools, with the winner of each pool advancing to the semi-finals.

  • Pool A: Bharatiya Nau Sena (Navy), Punjab Police, Comptroller & Auditor General
  • Pool B: Punjab & Sindh Bank, Kendriya Reserve Police Bal (CRPF), Bharatiya Rail (Railways)
  • Pool C: Oil & Natural Gas Commission (ONGC), Air India, Seema Suraksha Bal (BSF)
  • Pool D: Indian Oil, Sthal Sena (Army), Bharatiya Vayu Sena (IAF)

Sthal Sena and Bharatiya Rail reached the final of the tournament, with the following match results

Stage Date Sthal Sena (Army) Date Bharatiya Rail
Pool Oct 26 beat Bharatiya Vayu Sena (IAF) 8-4 Oct 24 beat Kendriya Reserve Police Bal (CRPF) 4-1
  Oct 27 beat Indian Oil 8-1 Oct 29 beat Punjab & Sindh Bank 4-1
Semis Oct 30 beat Punjab Police 1-1 (8-7 SD) Oct 30 beat Air India 4-3
Final Oct 31 beat Bharatiya Rail 1-1 (5-4 Sudden Death)

This was the second victory for Sthal Sena, who last won the tournament in 1996.

The winners bagged ₹5 lakh, with the runners up bagging ₹2.50 Lakhs. Karanpal Singh of Bharatiya Rail was declared the Player of the Tournament, and received a cash award of ₹51,000/

Photograph of the Month

Photograph courtesy

he Photograph of the Month for November 2018 is of Olly - the mascot of the 2018 Men's Hockey World Cup in Bhubanesvar.

The mascot was launched in the temple town of Puri in Odisha. The mascot represents the endangered Olive Ridley turtles, which comes in troves to Puri and its adjoining beaches annually. The mascot made its entry in style, cutting through the waves of the Puri sea beach in a jet ski.

Chandra Sarathi Behera, the Sports Minister of Odisha said, "We are lucky to have Olly as our official mascot for the Hockey World Cup. Not only does he bring enthusiasm and positivity about the Hockey World Cup, he also makes an emotional appeal for us to be more concerned about our surrounding environment and to take steps to protect his habitat."

Olly has been the mascot for every international sports tournament that is held in Odisha. Olly was a major attraction during the 2017 Hockey World League Finals in Bhubanesvar, when the mascot caught the attention of not just the visitors but also international players, who danced and celebrated with it.

Money Matters

Photograph courtesy The Hockey Paper

panish hockey has been on a high since the national team won bronze at the 2018 Women's World Cup in London.

Lexus, carmaker Toyota's premium brand, has inked a deal with the Royal Spanish Hockey Federation (RFEF) to become official sponsor across the sport in Spain. Lexus said in a statement: "Hockey is a sport with which the brand feels fully identified. And with which it feels proud of being able to collaborate."

Also, Real Sociedad club's hockey team members were paraded at Real Sociedad FC's home ground before their La Liga clash with Valencia. The club's hockey team won the Spanish league in June in Barcelona, and the football club duly celebrated the moment with a standing ovation in front of their fans.

Also, Turkish Airlines is the new primary sponsor of the Irish men's hockey team. Hockey Ireland CEO Jerome Pels said "We are pleased to reveal Turkish Airlines as the new primary sponsor of the Green Machine. Hockey is a global sport, and Hockey Ireland is delighted to partner with an international brand like Turkish Airlines."

On the other side of the globe, the Black Sticks men's and women's squads will receive a $4 million dollar cash injection from the New Zealand government and Kiwi businessman and philanthropist Sir Owen Glenn.

Glenn will donate $1 million per annum for two years, while the government will match the amount through High Performance Sport New Zealand, bringing the overall tally to $4 million. 25 players from the men's squad and 25 from the women's squad will now be on contract, meaning each will get a retainer and match fees on top when they play for New Zealand.

Black Sticks men's coach Darren Smith said the funding will change a lot for his side, including the hours they train, the amount of work they will have to do outside hockey and hopefully their performance on the field.

Media Matters

Article courtesy FIH

ne writer has taken a different route to inspiring young hockey players - she has created fictional hockey heroes in a series of children's books - Die Hockey Kids.

Sabine Hahn is a writer and illustrator who was inspired to write about hockey when she was unable to find any books about the sport for her young son to read. "I loved to fill my child's bookshelf with plenty of books. One day I tried to find a book about my son's favourite hobby: hockey. Such a book didn't exist. There were some skills-based books but nothing that was fun or a hockey adventure."

That was four years ago and since then, the hockey exploits of youngsters Lena, Lars and Max have been read by thousands of primary school children across Europe. Hahn herself has been on reading tours in classrooms and hockey clubs across Germany and, in the past 12 months, she has seen her books translated into Dutch, French and English.

Die Hockey Kids also made an appearance at the Indoor Hockey World Cup in Berlin, where Hahn ran a stall, and held a writing and illustration workshop for kids. The children attending were also able to meet the hockey stars who were playing in the World Cup.

In the book, the three Hockey Kids, Lena, Max and Lena's little brother Lars, join the newly formed Hockey Project at school. Giving nothing away about the plot, this is a story that is authentic, highly entertaining and contains heaps of messages that reflect and enhance the ethos surrounding the sport. Equality, team-work, overcoming disappointment, the importance of practice and training are all covered in a fun way. It is backed up with top hockey training tips from Hahn's hockey advisor - FIH elite coach Chris Faust.

Hahn has now written a second book about the exploits of Lena, Max and Lars and, while there is no substitute for playing the game, this great series is the perfect literary showcase for hockey.

Visitor of the Month


he Visitor of the Month for November 2018 is Arnab Ghosh from Canada. Arnab wrote the following to

I have been wanting to get the autograph of Mr. Balbir Singh Sr. I have reached out to him via his Facebook page and his email address. Could you help me get his autograph. It can be mailed to my address in Kolkata. Request your help in this matter. Thank you

Fun With Numbers

Statistics by B. G. Joshi

he November 2018 edition of Fun with Numbers is on country records in the Men's World Cup, the 14th edition of which will be held at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubansevar, Odisha, from November 28 - December 16, 2018.

  • In the span of just over a decade, India went from first in the World Cup (1975) to last in the World Cup (1986)
  • For the last 10 World Cups in a row, India has failed to make it to the semi-finals of the World Cup
  • In 7 of its last 10 World Cups, India had a negative Goals Scored ratio ('Goals For' less than 'Goals Against') - 1978, 1986, 1990, 1998, 2006, 2010, 2014
  • In 4 of its last 10 World Cups, the Indian team won just 1 match in the entire tournament - 1986, 1990, 2006, 2010
Year Venue MP W L D GF GA Rank Captain Coach
1971 Barcelona 6 5 1 0 8 3 3 Ajitpal Singh Balbir Singh Sr.
1973 Amsterdam 7 4 0 3* 15 3 2 M. P. Ganesh Balkrishan Singh
1975 Kuala Lumpur 7 5 1 1 19 8 1 Ajitpal Singh Gurcharan Singh Bodhi
1978 Buenos Aires 8 4 3 1 11 16 6 V. J. Phillips R. S. Gentle
1982 Mumbai 7 5 2 - 29 15 5 Surjeet Singh Harmeek Singh
1986 London 7 1 5 1 8 16 12 Mohammad Shaheed Harmeek Singh
1990 Lahore 7 1 5 1 12 18 10 Pargat Singh M. P. Ganesh
1994 Sydney 7 3 2 2* 14 12 5 Jude Felix Cedric D'Souza
1998 Utrecht 7 3 4 - 13 19 9 Dhanraj Pillai Vasudevan Bhaskaran
2002 Kuala Lumpur 9 3 5 1 22 17 10 Baljeet Singh Dhillon Cedric D'Souza
2006 Monchengladbach 7 1 5 1 10 18 11 Dileep Tirkey Vasudevan Bhaskaran
2010 Delhi 6 1 4 1 15 21 8 Rajpal Singh Jose Brasa
2014 The Hague 6 2 3 1 10 12 9 Sardar Singh Terry Walsh
  TOTAL 91 38 40 13 186 178      

*In 1973, in the World Cup final, India drew with Netherlands 2-2 at full-time, and lost 2-4 in the tie-breaker
*In 1994, in a World Cup classification match, India drew with Argentina 2-2 at full-time, and won 4-1 in the tie-breaker