Dec 20: A total of 21 foreign players have been roped in to add zing for the three-week long Premier Hockey League (PHL) league, out of which 10 will be from the Netherlands to display the European flavour, eight from neighbouring country Pakistan and the rest of the three from Korea.
The nation’s premier hockey tournament, PHL, is yet again ready to embark on the hearts of Indian hockey lovers with seven teams will be seen in action for the next three weeks at the Sector 42 stadium in Chandigarh commencing from today.
Defending champion Orissa Steelers, Chandigarh Dynamos, Hyderabad Sultans, Chennai Veerans, Maratha Warriors, Bangalore Hi-Fliers and Sher-e-Jalandhar have been enforced with few promising youngsters in their ranks.
Drafting in young blood in such a big tournament, is to give upcoming players an apt platform to showcase their talent and to brush their shoulders with some big names of the international hockey.
The chilly evening of the Chandigarh will turn into soaring temperature when all top domestic and international performers will make it a livewire with their sizzling stick work. Chandigarh Dynamos will take on Hyderabad Sultans in the opening match of the tournament later in the evening.
“This year, we have also made some alterations in the rules to enforce better discipline. The most significant rule change is that even a green card will mean that the erring player will not be allowed to participate in the game for a period of two minutes. This will deter players from rough play,” said Maurits Hendriks, technical consultant of PHL.
Among the 21 foreign players drafted for the league, 10 will be from the Netherlands to provide the European flavour, eight from Pakistan and three from Korea.
The best of three finals are slated on January 7, 9 and 11 with the semi-finals are scheduled for January 5. The winner will take the purse of Rs. 40 lakh and the runner-up Rs. 20 lakh, while the semi-finalists will get Rs. 5 lakh each.
“This is a very important season for us, with the Olympic qualifier just three months away. The quality match exposure that all the Indian aspirants would get during the league will definitely help in our preparation”, said Indian Hockey Federation (IHF), president K.P.S. Gill, in a release issued here.
“We have taken the utmost care to ensure that all the teams are equally balanced so that the spectators get to see quality hockey,” Gill added.
The team winning on regulation time will get three points and the team winning through extra time will get two points and concede one point to the loser. ESPN will telecast all the matches ‘live’ with commentary in both Hindi and English. All the matches will be played at Sector - 42 Stadium, Chandigarh.
20-Dec-07 18:00 Chandigarh Dynamos Vs Hyderabad Sultans
21-Dec-07 15:30 Chennai Veerans Vs Maratha Warriors
21-Dec-07 18:00 Orissa Steelers Vs Bangalore Hi-Fliers
22-Dec-07 13:00 Sher-e-Jallandhar Vs Hyderabad Sultans
22-Dec-07 15:30 Orissa Steelers Vs Chandigarh Dynamos
23-Dec-07 12:00 Bangalore Hi-Fliers Vs Maratha Warriors
23-Dec-07 14:30 Chennai Veerans Vs Sher-e-Jallandhar
24-Dec-07 18:00 Orissa Steelers Vs Hyderabad Sultans
25-Dec-07 15:30 Chandigarh Dynamos Vs Bangalore Hi-Fliers
25-Dec-07 18:00 Maratha Warriors Vs Sher-e-Jallandhar
26-Dec-07 15:30 Orissa Steelers Vs Chennai Veerans
27-Dec-07 18:00 Hyderabad Sultans Vs Bangalore Hi-Fliers
28-Dec-07 18:00 Chandigarh Dynamos Vs Sher-e-Jallandhar
29-Dec-07 15:30 Bangalore Hi-Fliers Vs Chennai Veerans
29-Dec-07 18:00 Orissa Steelers Vs Maratha Warriors
30-Dec-07 13:30 Sher-e-Jallandhar Vs Bangalore Hi-Fliers
30-Dec-07 16:00 Chandigarh Dynamos Vs Maratha Warriors
31-Dec-07 16:30 Chandigarh Dynamos Vs Chennai Veerans
1-Jan-08 15:00 Chennai Veerans Vs Hyderabad Sultans
2-Jan-08 18:00 Hyderabad Sultans Vs Maratha Warriors
3-Jan-08 18:00 Orissa Steelers Vs Sher-e-Jallandhar
4-Jan-08 Rest Day
5-Jan-08 15:30 Rank 1 - vs - Rank 4 - 1st Semi finals
5-Jan-08 18:00 Rank 2 - vs - Rank 3 - 2nd Semi finals
6-Jan-08 Rest Day
7-Jan-08 18:00 Winner 1st Semi Winner 2nd Semi
8-Jan-08 Rest Day
9-Jan-08 18:00 Winner 1st Semi Winner 2nd Semi
10-Jan-08 Rest Day
11-Jan-08 18:00 Winner 1st Semi Winner 2nd Semi (If required)
AVTAR SINGHDecember 25, 2007 at 12:00 AM