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Surjit hockey meet begins today

16 teams to vie for top honours in 10-day contest

Surjit hockey meet begins today


Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, October 24

The stage is set for the 40th Indian Oil Servo Surjit Hockey Tournament here at the local Olympian Surjit Hockey Stadium, Burlton Park, from October 25.

The tournament is held every year to keep the name of the former captain of the Indian hockey team, former Olympian late Surjit Singh Randhawa alive, who lost his life in a tragic car accident near Jalandhar on January 7, 1984. The tournament is organised by the Surjit Hockey Society, Jalandhar. Sixteen teams are participating in the tournament.

Vishesh Sarangal, Deputy Commissioner, Jalandhar, said that like the last 32 years, this year, Asia’s largest and leading Maharatana Oil Company ‘Indian Oil Corporation Limited’ will be the main title sponsor of the tournament while Gakhal Brothers of America will be the co-sponsor of the tournament.

The 40th edition of the tournament will be played on a knockout-cum-league basis. Last year’s champions Indian Railways New Delhi, Army-XI Delhi and Punjab National Bank, New Delhi, have been placed in Pool-B while last year’s runners-up Indian Oil, Mumbai, former champions Punjab and Sind Bank, New Delhi, and the Indian Air Force Delhi team has been seeded in Pool-B. The two teams will qualify from the knockout stage from teams namely BSF Jalandhar, Punjab Police, Indian Navy Mumbai, CAG New Delhi and FCI New Delhi. The FCI New Delhi qualified from Surjit pre-qualifying round. The other teams in this round were CRPF, Delhi, Army (Green), Bangalore, RCF Kapurthala, ITBP Chandigarh and CISF New Delhi. The clearance of the Pakistani teams by the government is still awaited.

According to Iqbal Singh Sandhu, CEO of society, the tournament committee is expecting a large number of hockey spectators this year. Under the slogan “Watch Surjit Hockey Win Alto Car”, this year also Surjit Hockey Society decided to award Maruti Alto car along with other prizes like refrigerators and LCDs etc. to the spectators, who will come to witness the Surjit Hockey matches. The main idea is to attract and to create more interest amongst the general public in our national game of hockey. The spectators will get daily lucky coupons till November 3 at the entry gate of the stadium while players will be issued the lucky coupons on the day of their first match. The lucky draw for the Alto car and other prizes will be held on November 3, soon after the final match. The matches will be played under flood lights in the stadium and the entry of spectators will be free. All arrangements for living, transport, security, medical, etc. of the players and officials have been completed.

Ranbir Singh Tut, secretary of the society, said that the arrangements have been made for live telecasting on the channels. All India Radio, Jalandhar, will also relay ‘ball-to-ball’ running commentary of the final match. There will be a colourful cultural programme on the final day of the tournament where popular Punjabi folk singer Babbu Maan will entertain the audience before the final match starts at 4 pm on November 3. A full-fledged media centre has also been established to facilitate print and electronic media, Tut added.

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