Venue : Surjit Hockey Stadium, Jalandhar (Capacity – 7000)
Broadcaster: Star Sports (Hindi Commentary), Star Cricket (English Commentary)
Date: 16 January 2013
Time : 6:00 PM (IST)
The inaugural Hockey India League is a step made in the forward direction by Hockey India to provide a platform to budding talents after India’s dismal performance at London Olympics. The second game of this Hockey India League will be played between Punjab Warriors and Ranchi Rhinos.
Whenever it comes to Indian Hockey, the names of the states of Punjab and Jharkhand immediately come to mind. And we will have a game when the teams representing these two states will be at loggerheads. Here are some of the key players to watch out for:
Bharat Chetri (India, Goalkeeper):
Bharat Chetri is the goalkeeper of the Indian National team. He was also a member of the Indian National team that played in the London Olympics and after an abysmal performance of the team, he, along with many other players, was dropped. Now, he has a chance to show the selectors that he can still be as astute beneath the bars as he used to be earlier and is ready to show his heroics once again.
Jamie Dwyer (Australia, Forward):
The Australian forward, who is also the captain of the team, is a top class player. Even at 33, he still has the same level of fitness and commitment as he did in his younger days. A World Cup Gold, An Olympic Gold and several Champions Trophy Gold medals are some of the highlights of his glorious career. The success of Punjab Warriors depend a lot on how he performs.
Shivendra Singh (India, Forward):
Shivendra Singh plays as the centre forward and is known for scoring beautiful field goals. His partnership upfront with Tushar Khandekar had proved deadly and was greatly applauded. Another member of the team that represented India in the London Olympics, he too has a lot to prove.
Ignace Tirkey (India, Midfielder):
Ignace Tirkey is one the most well-known names in the team. A veteran of several years, he has given a lot to the team India. A calming presence in the midfield, the Punjab team will look to him as the initiator of many attacks.
Nicolas Wilson (New Zealand, Forward):
One of the New Zealand’s brightest hockey stars, and also a bronze medal winner in the 2012 Commonwealth Games, Wilson is one of the few star attractions in this Ranchi side.
Ashley Jackson (England, Midfielder):
An Olympian representing Great Britain in 2004 Summer Olympics, and a penalty corner specialist, is a good addition to the seemingly weak Ranchi team.
Moritz Furste (Germany, Midfielder):
A winner of two Olympic Golds and a World Cup Gold, he is touted as the best player in the Ranchi team. The success of Ranchi will depend a lot on the way he is going to perform. He is one of the six marquee players in the HIL.
Birendra Lakra (India, Midfielder):
The one of the few star players from India in this team. He represented the Indian team at the London Olympics; he also performed really well in the recently concluded Champions Trophy where India finished fourth. His performance against Belgium was applauded and he also assisted the solitary goal that India scored against Belgium that put India in the semi final.
On paper, the Punjab Warriors team look way superior to their Jharkhand counterparts; but games are not decided on paper, they are decided on the playing field.