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News for 31 December 2015

All the news for Thursday 31 December 2016


by Team Balbir

Triple Olympic Gold medallist, Balbir Singh Sr.

Let us all, pool in our WARM BIRTHDAY WISHES for Balbir Singh Sr., THE Olympic Icon, Who has contributed Immensely towards Hockey & CONTINUES to do so.

On his way to completing a century, BALBIR will cross the 92 years milestone on 31st DECEMBER, 2015 .

WE FEEL PROUD of THE GREATEST LIVING LEGEND IN HOCKEY! He still holds The World record of scoring maximum goals in any Olympic finals to date!

Balbir Sr. says, when he looks back, he feels humbled and content about his Hockey career that began as an ordinary village child of five years and took him to such soaring heights at the pinnacle of world Hockey, that he has been able to fulfil his freedom fighter father's dream towards contributing to the honour of our Tiranga !

We Salute you Sir, for your dedication towards Hockey!
& We pray for your good health & happiness, today and always !

Balbir Singh Facebook page

PTV hold Customs to share points at National Hockey

Anwar Zuberi

KARACHI: Never-say-die Pakistan Television (PTV) slammed a last-minute equaliser to hold formidable Customs to a 1-1 draw in their pool ‘B’ match of the 62nd National Hockey Championship at the Hockey Club of Pakistan Stadium here on Wednesday.

In other matches of the day, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa defeated Punjab by odd goal in three (2-1), PAF brushed aside Police by tennis score of 6-1 while PIA overwhelmed Sindh 7-0.

Having lost an earlier match to the Steel Mills, Customs, once considered a force to be reckoned with, seems to be in hot waters for making it to the quarter-finals. Having won only one match against Islamabad in three outings so far, Customs now face a strong Wapda outfit in the last league encounter on Sunday.

Fresh after registering a solitary goal victory over Islamabad on Monday, PTV fought courageously by keeping the Customs at bay in the first two quarters.

Customs forced their first penalty corner in the 34th minute and captain Asim Khan made no mistake. They forced another penalty corner in the 43rd but to no avail.

The PTV, on the other hand, continued their onslaughts for equaliser and finally succeeded by earning a penalty corner in the dying moments which yielded fruitful results. Mohammad Adnan after receiving a goalmouth pass efficiently connected it.

Earlier, the PTV earned three penalty corners but all went wasted.

Meanwhile, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa struck a goal each in the second and third quarters to post their maiden win over Punjab in their pool ‘C’ match of academic interest.

Mohib opened the account for the KP in the 20th minute while Amjad-ur-Rehman consolidated it in 41st. Punjab reduced the deficit through Ehtisham who scored off penalty corner in the 57th.

Both KP and Punjab have completed their engagements.

A hat-trick by Mushtaq helped PAF chalk up a crushing victory over Police to continue their winning run and stay in contention for a place in last eight.

Mushtaq struck thrice in the 11th, 20th and 35th minutes, all off penalty corners, to hog limelight. Saeed Shah, Samiullah, and Asif Manzoor netted once for the PAF while Mohammad Ammad scored the consolation goal for policemen off penalty corner.

PIA outplayed Sindh in the pool ‘A’ match to earn full points.

Shafqat Rasool (2), Mohammad Zubair, Rana Sohail, Ihsanullah, Waseem Akram and Mohammad Irfan one apiece, shared the scoring honours for the airlines.

Thursday’s fixtures:

Wapda v Steel Mills at 11:30am; Railways v HEC at 1:30pm; Police v Navy at 3:30pm.


Mushtaq hat-trick inspires 6-1 rout

KARACHI: A hat-trick by Mushtaq guided PAF to a comfortable 6-1 win over Police on the sixth day of the ongoing 62nd National Hockey Championship at the Hockey Club of Pakistan Stadium in Karachi on Wednesday.

Mushtaq converted a penalty corner in the 11th, 20th and 22nd minute to give his side a 3-0 lead and complete his hat-trick, while captain Saeed Shah and Asif Manzoor added one goal each in the 23rd and 54th minute by successfully converting their respective penalty corners to further dampen Police’s spirits. Earlier, Samiullah had got his name on the scoresheet by finding the net in the 43rd minute and Muhammad Ammad had scored the consolation for Police in the 29th minute.

In the second match, Shafqat Rasool scored two goals to guide PIA to a 7-0 win over Sindh. The Airliners’ Muhammad Zubair opened the scoring by finding the net in the sixth minute followed by Shafqat’s field goal in the seventh. Ihsanullah then successfully converted a penalty corner in 16th minute to give PIA a 3-0 lead.

Atif Mushtaq got his name on the scoresheet in the 30th minute, Shafqat slotted in his second in the 42nd minute and Waseem Akram and Mohammad Irfan scored one goal each in the 48th and 51st minute to complete the rout.

In another match, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa won 2-1 against Punjab as Mohib opened the account through his 20th minute field goal followed by Amjadur Rehman’s 41st minute strike. Punjab’s Ehtisham managed to halve the deficit in the 57th minute but it was too late by then.

The last match between Customs and PTV ended in a draw as Asim Khan’s 34th minute opener was nullified by Muhammad Adnan’ 59th minute strike.

The Express Tribune

KP, PAF, PIA register victories in National Hockey Championship

LAHORE - Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan Air Force (PAF), Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) conjured up victories against their opponents in the ongoing 62nd National Hockey Championship at the Hockey Club of Pakistan (HCP) Stadium on Wednesday.

KP defeated Punjab 2-1, PAF subdued Police 6-1 and PIA thrashed Sindh 7-0 in one-sided matches. While the last match between Customs and PTV ended into a thrilling 1-1 draw. Both the teams got one point each.
KP outclassed Punjab in the opening match. Mohib opened the account for KP in the 20th minute with a field goal and in the 41st minute Amjad-ur-Rehman doubled the lead with another field goal. Punjab boys launched a number of attacks in an attempt to reduce the margin. They got six penalty corners and availed one in the 57th minute when Ehtisham successfully converted it. Faisal and Sajid supervised the match.

Mushtaq of PAF scored a hat-trick to lead his team to a comfortable victory against Police. Airmen exerted pressure in the beginning of the match which they maintained till the end. They got seven penalty corners and converted five. Airmen scored their first goal on a penalty corner in the 11t minute. Mushtaq scored his second and third goals, all on penalty corners, in the 20th and 22nd minutes. Captain Saeed Shah and Asif Manzoor also successfully converted penalty corners in the 22nd and 54th minutes. In the 43rd minute Samiullah netted a beautiful field goal. From Police, M Ammad scored the lone goal in the 29th minute. Zahid and Fazal Manan supervised the match.

Airliners enjoyed supremacy throughout their match against Sindh. M Zubair opened the account for his team through a field goal in the 6th minute. Shafqat Rasool’s field goal in the 7th minute doubled the lead and Ihsanullah’s successful conversion in the 16th minute consolidated PIA’s grip on the match. In the 30th minute, Atif Mushtaq netted a field goal on a pass from Abu Bakar. Shafqat slammed his second field goal in the 42nd minute. Waseem Akram and M Irfan scored one field goal each in the 48th and 51st minutes. From Sindh, Khizar Akhtar made a futile attempt to reduce the margin in the last quart. M Asif and Kamran MP were the field umpires.

The last match of the day between Customs and PTV produced real entertainment for the crowd. Both the teams demonstrated excellent stick work. They launched calculated attacks against each other which won applauds from the spectators. Though Customs dominated the proceedings of the match yet their slackness denied them a well-deserved victory. In the 34th minute of the match, Customs’ Asim Khan scored the only goal for his team on a penalty corner. PTV forwards tried hard to level the score but their attacks were frustrated by the opposition. PTV missed a chance in the 56th minute to level the score on a late pass from Shuja to Waqas. However, in the 59th minute of the match, a beautiful move by their captain M Fayyaz and Shuja earned a penalty corner which was successfully converted by Adnan. Hamza and Atif Malik were the field umpires. Today (Thursday)’s matches: Wapda vs Steel Mills, Railways vs HEC and Police vs Navy.

The Nation

A whole new low for Pakistan hockey

By Nabil Tahir

Pakistan failed to qualify for the Olympics as they lost the crossover match 1-0 for fifth-sixth position against a 15th-ranked Irish team at the FIH Hockey World League Semi-finals in Belgium. PHOTO: FILE

After failing to qualify for the World Cup last year, 2015 was another ill-fated story of a forgone fairytale for Pakistan hockey as the senior side was unsuccessful in securing a berth for the 2016 Rio Olympics for the first time in its history this July.

It was regrettable that a country that has won the Olympics gold thrice, World Cup four times, Asia Cup thrice, Asian Games gold a record eight times, Asian Champions Trophy gold twice, FIH Champions Trophy gold thrice and remained unbeaten at the regional level for many years, suffered such a massive setback.

However, the bulk of the blame can be allocated to the lack of funds being provided and generated for our national sport. The constituency of the then officials of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) — Olympians Chaudhary Akhtar Rasool and Rana Mujahid — were also blamed for Pakistan hockey’s downfall, leading to a new management under president Brig (retd) Sajjad Khokhar and Olympian Shahbaz Ahmed Senior.

The failure of the previous management became prominent when they failed to rope in a monetary grant from Prime Minister and Patron-in-chief Nawaz Sharif amid claims of financial embezzlement. And instead, the patron asked for an audit report of the previously released grant while the scheduled tours to Europe were cancelled after a lack of funds resulted in the calling off of the national training camp.

With no training under their belt and just two months left for the World Hockey League semi-finals — qualifiers for the Olympics — the senior side was a shadow of its former self. Their journey to Antwerp in Belgium was bleak; they finished rock-bottom (eighth place) and were simply made to give up their dreams of playing in Rio. The team’s failure thus resulted in resignations from the coaching panel and selectors.

When the new management came in, they took steps to revive the lost glory of the national sport with the support of the patron by organising the 62nd National Hockey Championship with a newly laid turf.

Although the New Year will not be an easy one to tackle with many hurdles yet to overcome, including backlash from various Olympians, the management will be looking to strengthen the national side and put Pakistan’s name back at the top.

The Express Tribune

The Colts — the silver lining in hockey’s tragic story

By Nabil Tahir

In their first tournament under the new management, the Sultan of Johor Cup, Pakistan’s junior hockey team were thrashed five times and only managed one goalless draw against Great Britain in a highly forgettable outing. PHOTO: FILE

Any successful team in any sport needs a fully functioning juniors setup to churn out potential candidates for the senior side. These junior systems act as platforms to allow players to accumulate much-needed experience by playing in competitive matches, and in many cases, getting international exposure.

Simply put, the stronger the youth development structure, the stronger the senior side would be.

It is exactly following this line of approach that the newly-elected Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), led by president Brig (retd) Muhammad Khalid Sajjad Khokhar and secretary Shahbaz Ahmed Senior, made it their priority to hold trials for the junior team and, following the finalisation of the junior squad in September, sent them on their first international tour, the 5th Sultan of Johor Cup, in October.

As expected, the junior side, which had not played together since the last one year, struggled to find their rhythm. They were thrashed 5-1 by India in the opener followed by a 6-2 loss to Australia. And while their only solace came in a goalless draw against eventual winners Great Britain, 3-1 drubbings by Argentina and hosts Malaysia each completed a miserable tour for the Colts.

While the Colts entered the Junior Asia Cup as underdogs, they surprised all with their impressive performances and made it through to the final before losing out to eventual winners India. PHOTO: FILE

Undeterred by the poor performance in Malaysia and with one eye fixed on qualifying for the Junior Hockey World Cup, the PHF immediately set up a camp to prepare the young side for another tournament in Malaysia — the Junior Asia Cup.  The tournament was not only another chance for the Colts to redeem themselves, but, with all four semi-finalists guaranteed a place in the Junior World Cup, also served as a qualifier for the mega-event in India.

The team left for Malaysia on October 7 and surprised all with their outstanding performances. They won all three of their pool matches — Bangladesh (3-1), South Korea (3-0) and Oman (7-1) — to top their pool and then went on to reach the final by defeating China 4-1 in the quarter-final and South Korea 8-7 on penalties in the semi-final to set up a mouth-watering clash with India in the final.

Even though they were on the receiving end of a 6-2 thrashing by India in the final, the Colts had earned something the senior side had desperately been vying for — respect.

The juniors are now preparing to do well at the Junior Hockey World Cup in India in 2016 and if the PHF persists in working for the development of the young side, who knows Pakistan might one day even win the Hockey World Cup — an honour eluding the four-time world champions since 1994.

The Express Tribune

Isberg named 2016 HIL tournament director

NEW DELHI: Sweden's Bjorn Isberg on Wednesday was named the tournament director of the fourth edition of the Hockey India League (HIL) that will be held across six venues in India from January 18 to February 21.

The tournament will witness six franchises - Jaypee Punjab Warriors, Delhi Waveriders, Kalinga Lancers, Uttar Pradesh Wizards, Dabang Mumbai and defending champions Ranchi Rays - battling for supremacy.

Alongside Isberg, Scottish Andy Mair has been appointed as the umpire's manager while Muthukumar Balakrisnan from Malaysia will don the role of assistant tournament director, announced Hockey India (HI).

The following is the complete list of officials for 2016 HIL:

Tournament Director: Bjorn Isberg (SWE)

Lead Umpires Manager: Craig Gribble (NZL)

Umpires Manager: Andy Mair (SCO)

Assistant Tournament Director: Muthukumar Balakrisnan (MAS), Gavin Hawke (NZL)

Technical Officers: Claudius de Sales (IND), Davinder Bhatia (IND), Ashutosh Verma (IND)

Judges: Milind Narwekar (IND), Anjali Sharma (IND), Sonia Bathla (IND)

International Umpires: German Montes de Oca (ARG), Marcin Grochal (POL), Martin Madden (SCO), David Tomlinson (NZL), Jakub Mejzlik (CZE), Ben GAntgen (GER)

Indian Umpires: R.V. Raghuprasad, G.S. Sangha, Ripudaman Sharma, Deepak Joshi, Dhaval Prajapti, Anil Kumar.

The Times of India

OTHL team for Nagaon National Championship announced

Defender Juma Shree will lead an 18-member Citizen Hockey XI team for the 6th Hockey India Sub-Junior Women’s National championship to be held at Nagaon, a town about 120 km from Guwahati, in Assam from 5th Jan.

The team has been selected after most girls from the One Thousand Hockey Legs subscribed schools in Kolkata and sparingly from other parts took part in a two-phase selection trails held last month.

11-year old Hiramani Das, a 6th class student, is the youngest of the team. The small mid is delighted to go Assam tour though not fully aware of the significance of making debut for the Citizen Hockey team at the tender age.

Delhi based NGO Hockey Citizen Group has been running its flagship program One Thousand Hockey Legs (OTHL) in Kolkata since 2009.

Last year it further activated with induction of six more schools on its roll.

Hockey India, parent body of field hockey in India, has accorded affiliation to the NGO by virtue of which it fields its team in Hockey India Sub-Junior National Championships since last three years.

OTHL teams named ‘Citizen Hockey XI’ have participated in the previous Baroda and Jammu editions of the age-group Nationals.

However, its first time its girls team will take part in any Nationals which is another feather in the much acclaimed NGO.

Since the host Nagaon is close to the OTHL’s Kolkata Centre, the management decided to send combined Kolkata team which will boost the city’s hockey in a big way.

The team: Bera Sudeshna (gk), Khataun Harjeera, Shree Juma, Dasmal Dipshika, Modi Monisha, Chakrabarti Rima, Soren Safali, Malik Priya, Sheilk Sarmina, Dasgupta Megha, Ghosh Sirsha, Namoni Pariya, Shaw Hritika, Dutta Riya, Parveen Ayesha, Das Hiramani, Das Anuradha, Das Sujata. Coach; Nashim Uddin Manager: Shukla Ghosh


Delhi Chapter of OTHL: Fifth Anniversary celebrations and highlights.

Delhi chapter of One Thousand Hockey Legs was commenced two years after the innovative project was put in operation in other four centres in India: Kolkata, Chennai, Puducherry & Kanpur.

Delhi, however, showed tremendous interest and the concept of introducing and running hockey teams in schools -- where hockey was not played before -- spread like a wildfire and established itself as the most dynamic and vibrant of all 5 OTHL centres today.

About 900 boys gathered at Shivaji stadium last week end and celebrated the 5th anniversary with their coaches, mentors and volunteers. It was a joy with each one of them engaging in various activities they like, from serious games to lighter stuff.

During the event, costly items sent by Dutch legend Jaap Stockmann were also distributed to the needy ones.

Former OTHL Stars played a friendly match against present OTHL XI, which ended in an exciting draw. The coaches were presented momento.

The boys thanked Hockey India which gave HI President’s Outstanding Achievement Award to OTHL this year, and before that affiliation to the NGO so that it can participate directly in the Sub-Jr National Championships.

Founder and CEO K. Arumugam assured formation of different package for the coming years so that the talent pool of gifted boys are elevated to next level.

Delhi OTHL highlights

  • Introduced 24 Schools, 90% govt
  • Free Equipment, free coaching for all these schools
  • Hockey is now institutionally played in five New Education Deptt Zones.
  • The boys were given at least Six tournament exposure annually.
  • OTHL introduced three New Entities (tournaments): Cairn Juniors Hockey Cup, Birendranath Ghosh Memorail Cup and Prof Joe Ezekiel Memorial Cup.
  • It exported Talent to needy private Schools / Clubs, selflessly.
  • Education Dept: Inter-Zone: Our OTHL centre boys won Silver in the U-14 in 2014, silver in U-14 and U-17 this year.
  • School Games: About six boys got selected for Delhi State in the SGFI School Games National Championship.
  • About half a dozen boys represented Delhi State in the Hockey India age group National Championships.
  • In order to sustain the momentum in long term, OTHL encouraged schools to organize inter-school invitational tournaments. So far, five such properties have been established. Anglo-Arabic Inter-School Hockey Cup 2015 was the first one, the event was held last week.
  • Delhi OTHL contributed maximum in terms of players for the Citizen Hockey XI team which participated in the Baroda and Jammu editions of HI Sub-Junior National Championships.


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