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Hockey India League 2017 Team Overview: Ranchi Rays

Vidhi Shah
FEATURED WRITER
19 Jan 2017, 17:05 IST
Ranchi Rays
The team finished atop the pool standings in the last season

The 2017 edition of the Hockey India League will commence on the 21st of January, Saturday in Mumbai with the home team Dabang Mumbai taking the battle across to MS Dhoni co-owned Ranchi Rays. The tournament which will last for a little more than a month will feature six teams clash against each other to claim the top honours.

The semi-finals and finals as per traditions will be hosted at the defending champions’ Jaypee Punjab Warriors home ground in Chandigarh. All the matches will be played under lights with a 7.00PM IST start across six venues in the cities of Chandigarh, Ranchi, Lucknow, Mumbai, Delhi, and Bhubaneswar. 

Also Read: Hockey India League 2017 Team Overview: Dabang Mumbai

Tournament record

2013- In the inaugural season, under its former owners, the erstwhile Ranchi Rhinos emerged as champions of the league after defeating the Delhi Waveriders 2-1 in the finals. Mandeep Singh was the lead scorer for the team with 10 goals to his name, just second behind Sandeep Singh of Mumbai in the overall tally. 

2014- Ranchi Rhinos could not sustain their winning spree from last season but nonetheless finished at the third place at the end of the league after defeating the Uttar Pradesh Wizards in a shoot-out. 

2015- The season marked a change in the ownership of the outfit, and subsequently the new team which came to be known as the Ranchi Rays emerged as champions in their debut season, defeating the Jaypee Punjab Warriors in the final encounter. The star of the tournament was Britain’s Ashley Jackson who spearheaded the attack for Ranchi with the highest number of goals in the tournament, 12 in total. 

2016- The team finished atop the pool standings in the last season but lost a bit of their sheen going into the play-off’s only to finish at the fourth place. Ashley Jackson picked up from right where he had left, converting 14 penalty corners and emerging as the second highest goal-scorer. 

Key Players

Christopher Ruhr- The 23-year old German international is one of the most expensive foreign buys of the season and will be eager to prove his worth in the upcoming league. Moreover, the youngster had been nominated for the FIH Rising Star of the Year award and was quite recently the bronze medallist at the Rio Olympics, thus he will looking to continue the attacking charge for the Ranchi Rays. 

Ashley Jackson- The man from Britain has been the USP for the Ranchi Rays since its first season in 2015. A rampant scorer, Ashley who is his country’s all-time leading goal-scorer will hope to emulate his form from the past seasons. Three-time Olympian, he not only has experience but skills and leadership qualities which make him a complete package as a player.
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Gurbaj Singh- The veteran Indian midfielder is the most expensive player during the HIL auctions in November, the money a testament to his worth as a player. Playing in the right half for the Delhi Waveriders, the gifted and talented hockey star will look to impress one and all in Rays’ jersey, moving a step away from his disciplinary issues for which he has been out of national reckoning. 
 

Fixtures

Date

Time

Home Team

Away Team

Venue

Saturday 21 January

19:00

Dabang Mumbai

Ranchi Rays

Mumbai

Monday 23 January

19:00

Kalinga Lancers

Ranchi Rays

Bhubaneshwar

Thursday 26 January

19:00

Ranchi Rays

Kalinga Lancers

Ranchi

Saturday 28 January

19:00

Ranchi Rays

Delhi Wave Riders

Ranchi

Wednesday 1 February

19:00

Ranchi Rays

Jaypee Punjab Warriors

Ranchi

Thursday 2 February

19:00

Ranchi Rays

Dabang Mumbai

Ranchi

Saturday 4 February

19:00

Ranchi Rays

Uttar Pradesh Wizards

Ranchi

Thursday 9 February

19:00

Jaypee Punjab Warriors

Ranchi Rays

Chandigarh

Thursday 16 February

19:00

Uttar Pradesh Wizards

Ranchi Rays

Lucknow

Tuesday 21 February

19:00

Delhi Wave Riders

Ranchi Rays

Delhi


Squad

Forwards: Christopher Ruhr (Germany), Sarvanjit Singh (India), Sumit Kumar (India), Mohammad Amir Khan (India), Imran Khan (India)

Midfielders: Flynn Ogilvie (Australia), Sumit (India), Simranjeet Singh (India), Barry Middleton (England), Trent Mitton (Australia), Ashley Jackson (England), Gurbaj Singh (India), Kothajit Singh (India), Manpreet Singh (India)

Defenders: Birendra Lakra (India), Timothy Deavin (Australia), Vikramjit Singh (India), Fergus Kavanagh (Australia)

Goalkeepers:  Akash Chikte (India), Tyler Lovell (Australia) 

Coach: Harendra Singh

Home Stadium: Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium

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