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Foreign players see PHL a learning ground
Akash Ghai/G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
The second edition of the Premier Hockey League (PHL) here has attracted spectators in large numbers for it has given them a chance to watch their local heroes in action.

It has also given them an opportunity to watch players from foreign countries like Pakistan, Spain, Holland and Argentina, play alongside Indian players during the Tier 1 matches, being played under floodlights.

Along with India’s top players like Dhanraj Pillay, Gagan Ajit Singh, Dilip Tirkey, Viren Rasquinha and Deepak Thakur, many big names of foreign hockey like Balder Bomans and Lodewijak from Holland, Pau Quemada from Spain and Mohammad Saqlain and Rehan Butt from Pakistan are displaying their skills during the matches.

The foreign players are also candid to talk about the growth of hockey in the subcontinent, where the game has been through a bad phase lately, along with the status of the game in their respective countries.

Lodewijak, the Holland defender, came with the purpose to learn dribbling skills from Indians.

“Indians are very fast on the field but they lack finishing touch. I am here to learn some special techniques.

Moreover, in Holland we cannot continue our training because of snow, so the league provides us with the opportunity to continue our training,” quips Lodewijak, who is member of Maratha Warriors and plays for Bloemendaal Club in Holland.

Countryman Balder Bomans, an admirer of Dhanraj Pillay, is also excited and delighted to be part of the local team — Chandigarh Dynamos.

Bomans says it is a good initiative to conduct the PHL in the city as it has infrastructure of international level.

“These types of competitions will help India find the lost glory,” feels Bomans, who plays for Amsterdam Hockey Club.

Spaniard Pau Quemada, a national team striker, terms the tournament a good competition as many top players are taking part.

Pau is representing Sher-e- Jalandhar and this is his second visit to the city. He earlier came here with the Spanish team to play against India.

He also wants to spend his holiday with his girlfriend here after the culmination of the league.

“Playing with Indian and Pakistan players is a good experience and it provides good opportunity to hone my skills,” he says.

However, Pakistan skipper Mohammad Saqlain, who is part of Sher-e-Jalandhar, feels that Indians should play as a cohesive unit. They should focus on group game and shed individual interests.

Besides, there is a need to upgrade the facilities as well as financial status of hockey players.

Countryman Rehan Butt, however, feels that the talent of players like Sandeep Singh is not being utilised properly. These players should be given adequate chances in international matches.

Imran Khan, a Pakistan mid-fielder, is delighted to be part of Chandigarh Dynamos. “It is a good platform where we can have the privilege of enjoying an international standard hockey and get some good tips from senior players.”

Commenting on the standard of hockey in India and Pakistan, he feels both teams are capable of toppling their opponents provided they take it seriously and play in their traditional style.

He also criticises the political interference in selection pattern. “Media should play a vital role in promoting the sport,” he opines.

Imran Warsi, another Pakistan player who is representing Maratha Warriors, feels honoured to be part of the tournament.

Speaking on the foggy conditions here, he says: “It is difficult to play in such conditions but we are taking it as a challenge and are determined to give it our 100 per cent.”

Adnan Zakir, who is also playing for Maratha Warriors, is on a learning trip. “Cool weather will not be a problem as we are used to such conditions at Lahore too.”

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Raman, Kanwar star in Elite club win
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
A fine performance by Raman Sharma 73 off 20 balls (12 fours and 2 sixes) and Kanwar Singh enabled Elite Cricket Club beat Talwar Cricket Club by 52 runs in the first Rayash Trophy Match at ITRI grounds, Sector 28, here today.

Brief scores: Elite Cricket Club: 168 for 6 in 20 overs (Raman Sharma 73, Kanwar Singh 61 n.o., Gaggu 2 for 37)

Talwar Cricket Club: 116 all out (Gaggu 30, Tini 42, Kanwar Singh 2 for 25).

In another tie, Palsora Cricket Club beat Uttaranchal Cricket Club by 5 wickets.

Brief scores: Uttaranchal Cricket Club: 162 all out in 20 overs (Anu 68, Rakesh 25, Sunil 3 for 30).

Palsora Cricket Club: 163 for 5 in 17.3 overs (Harman 83, sunil 31 Arun 3 for 32).

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Rowing c’ship from Jan 28
Our Sports Reporter

Chandigarh, January 9
The Chandigarh State Senior Rowing Championship for Men and Women will be held at the Lake Club on January 28 at 8 am. Events will be conducted in single and double scull and Coxless Fours.

Entries should reach Parmod Kumar Singla, Secretary, Chandigarh Rowing Association, or Arvind Sehgal, rowing coach, by January 27.Meanwhile, three junior rowers of Chandigarh Rowing Association Manjeet Singh, Robin Rawat and Kanav Dosajh have been selected for the national camp in Hyderabad which started today.

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Factionalism in sports body costs city teams dear
Arvind Katyal

Chandigarh, January 9
Chandigarh school sports teams are made to meet their travel expenses for taking part in the national school games as the Northern Railways, Ambala Division, has refused to give them the usual 75 per cent sports concession.

This is because the UT Education Department has shown its allegiance to a parallel faction of the School Games Federation of India (SGFI).

As per usual practice, every secretary general of the federation has to get the signatures authenticated from the Indian Railways for further issuance to its sportspersons.

For the past many years since 1999, the SGFI secretary general P.S. Chhabra’s signatures were approved. But a parallel faction, which was formed last year in February 2004 at Pune with Mr A.K. Mishra as secretary general shot off letters to various railway zones that theirs was the true body.

But the Northern Railways, Ambala, refused to entertain the signatures of Mr Mishra and hence did not allow 75 per cent sports railway concession.

Now the Chandigarh Education Department, whose official Mr Prem Puri is also one of the treasurer of the parallel federation, has been sending the teams to various National School games organised by the Mishra group.

Recently , the national school games in (Cricket) were being held in Agra and Chandigarh teams were sent by bus, the fare on which is more than the normal railway fare.

Even for other national school games, and no railway concession were taken instead full fare was billed to the Education Department.

What is more, the probables of the UT school teams, which have to take part in the national school games, are not given diet money in the camps held for their training.

The recent elevation of Mr Ravinder Talwar as new president of the School Games Federation of India (Chhabra group) has further intensified the infighting between the two factions of the apex school sports body.

The secretary general of the SGFI, Mr PS Chhabra, had few days back announced that in order to give proper patronage to the SGFI, Mr Talwar would be the new president.

Mr Chhabra said the invitations from Asian School Sports Federation were also being sent in their names.

He said the Mishra group also tried to mislead the Asian School Sports Federation who refused to recognise them. Then the International School Sport Federation has also refused to accord affiliation to Mishra group, said Mr Chhabra.

Meanwhile, Chandigarh will play host to the 51st National School Games in under 19 category for both boys and girls in karate, wushu, table tennis, archery and table soccer in the first week of February which will be organised by the DAV unit of the SGFI (Chhabra group).

One of the sports officials is of the view that the way school sports are being run in this country, it is high time the Indian Olympic Association stepped in to save it from causing further harm to school sports which is the real talent base of a country.

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Softball team announced
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
The Chandigarh Amateur Softball Association has announced its teams for in the 27th Senior National Softball Championship to be held in Puri (Orissa) from January 10 to 15.

The announcement was made by general secretary Roop Lal Sharma.

Teams: Men: Dalbir Singh, Pankaj, Baljeet, Ravinder, Sunderlal, Anil, Amit Bahadur, Vijay Singh, Surjeet Singh, Sahil Jain, Jatidner Singh, Hanumant, Mohamed Aali, Shivang, Sandeep Morya. Manager: Rupesh. Coach: Ajay Thankur.

Women: Sunita Kherwa, Pooja, Seema, Neelam, Anjana, Leela, Babita, Pinki, Shailja, Lata, Soia Sharma, Nitika Sharma, Bandana, Heema and Sarita. Manager: Sunita. Coach: Tirlok Singh.

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YPS drub Saupin’s in cricket
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
An all-round performance by Subeer Hayer (52 off 35 balls) helped YPS Mohali beat Saupin’s School, Panchkula, in the Satluj Public School Cricket Tournament (under-12) played at Satluj Public School, Sector 4, here today.

Batting first, YPS piled up 134 for 5 in their allotted 20 overs.

Chasing the target, Saupin’s were dismissed for just 72 in 16.5 overs.

Brief scores: YPS: 134 for 5 in 20 overs (Subeer Hayer 52, Arsh 16 n.o.).

Saupin’s: 72 all out in 16.5 overs (Arnav 12, Subeer 2 for 17).

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Monorail project for firm with 450 cr turnover
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
The Chandigarh Administration has decided on setting up monorail as a mode of transportation for ensuring rapid mass transportation to ease the rush of traffic on the city roads.

Any company applying for implementation of the project on mass transport in the city should have an annual turnover of at least Rs 450 crore. This was decided at a high-level meeting of the Chandigarh Administration with the Adviser in the chair. It was decided that the company should be at least a net worth of Rs 500 crore.

Reliable sources said that the issue will be sent to the UT Administrator for the final approval. The document of expression of interest was discussed in detail here today. Following a formal clearance, the project will be advertised.

Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES) is involved with the Administration in implementation of the project.

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