Tag Archives: Hockey

Converting The Penalty Corners Will Be The Team’s Strength: VR Raghunath On The Hero Hockey India League 2015

Uttar Pradesh Wizards captain VR Raghunath said on Friday that his team will rely on penalty corner conversions to go all the way in the Hockey India League (HIL) starting from January 22.

Being among the top drag-flickers of the world, the Karnataka player led the Wizards twice and took the team to the semifinals of the previous two editions. The Indian defender plans to materialise maximum scoring opportunities through penalty corners.

“The league this time is going to be tough as the best players of the world will take part in it. The strength of our team will be the drag-flicking skills,” he said in a statement.

The 26-year-old drag-flick specialist was third in the lists of the top goal scorers of both the previous two editions.

Proving his worth and becoming a motivation to the defence line of Wizards in the first season of the HIL, Raghunath scored a total number of nine goals where all the goals came from penalty corner conversions. He scored four goals to help the team take third position.

Trailing the achievement of the first season, he scored eight goals again from penalty corners in the subsequent edition. However, his team failed to finish on the podium.

In addition to Raghunath, the team also has the service of the Netherlands goal-poacher Jeroen Hertzberger, who didn’t play last time citing busy international schedule.

Raghunath said that their defence has been strengthened due to the availability of talented Dutch internationals Marcel Balkestein and Jolie Wouter.

“I am excited to share the field with Harbir Singh, the Netherlands’ Marcel Balkestein and Jolie Wouter, who are surely a boost to our defence line-up. I look forward to the third season and aiming to improve our position by finishing on a winning note this time,” he said.

UP Wizards will play their first match on January 23 against defending champions Delhi Waveriders in Lucknow. The opening day of the league will witness Kalinga Lancers taking on Ranchi Rays at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.

Arun Jaitely to remain on Hockey India League advisory board for next two editions

After a successful stint of two years, union finance and defence minister Arun Jaitley will continue to be on the advisory board of the Hero Hockey India League for the next two editions.

“India’s noted politician and the prominent lawyer joined the Advisory Board in the first edition of the Hero Hockey India League in 2013 and since then, he has been an integral member of the Board and proactively been involved in the development of the League,” HIL said in a statement.

Speaking on his involvement in the Hero HIL, Jaitley said, “It’s great to see Indian Hockey gaining its lost glory and achieving new feats worldwide. When Hockey India launched Hero Hockey India League, we all knew that the young players will benefit the most from the League.”

“Now we are all seeing the improvement of players’ skills and in the process Indian Hockey team gaining success both at Senior as well as Junior levels at the various international platforms.”

“With all the concerted efforts that we are seeing in hockey over the last couple of years, the progress is now evident after the recent success of the women and men’s hockey teams including the women securing the bronze medal in the 2014 Asian Games and the men team achieving a Silver medal in the 2014 CWG and the Gold medal in the 2014 Asian Games.”

Speaking on the new development, the Hockey India League, Chairman Narinder Batra said, “It’s very encouraging for HHIL to get support from influential people and sports enthusiast like Mr. Arun Jaitley. In the first two editions he always made his presence felt by being a part of important decision making meetings and his suggestions have always helped us to make the League stronger.”

Indian Hockey Team Returns Home to Heroes’ Welcome

The Incheon Asian games gold medal winning Indian men’s hockey team returned home to a rousing welcome by Hockey India (HI), fans and friends at the Indira Gandhi International airport in New Delhi on Sunday.

The Sardar Singh-led team landed at the airport at 1 am and were received by Hockey India President Mariamma Koshy and CEO Elena Norman amid the beat of drums and dhols.

“It’s a proud moment for the whole country. We have worked hard for last 8 months to achieve this target and now we feel proud having achieved it. There was pressure since we could not win Asiad gold for last 16 years, but we were determined to win this time,” Indian hockey team captain Sardar Singh said.

India clinched the gold at the Asian games after 16 years, defeating arch rival Pakistan in a nail-biting penalty shootout. The win ensures India a direct ticket to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.

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