The prestigious Beighton Cup – the world’s oldest hockey tournament – will be revived after a hiatus of three years and would be held at the SAI Sports Complex in Kolkata from December 11-18. The tournament could not be held in 2020 owing to Covid-19 as well as in 2021 owing to date issues. Hockey Bengal – the organisers of the coveted domestic hockey tournament has kickstarted preparations and would be soon zeroing in on the participating teams.
Around eight to ten teams are expected to participate in the 124th Beighton Cup. It is learnt that Hockey Bengal is keen roping in Petroleum Sports Control Board (PSCB), Railways Sports Control Board (RSPB), Army XI and a few bank teams. “We feel that having a combined oil outfit would raise the competitive quotient of the tournament instead of Indian Oil or BPCL. Nothing is decided as yet and we would get down to sending invitations to teams after Durga Puja,” a source close to Hockey Bengal told Hockey Passion.
It may be worth recalling that Indian Oil had won the 123rd Beighton Cup held in November 2019, defeating Punjab National Bank 2-0 in the final – the oilmen rode on third-quarter goals from Karajwinder Singh and Gurjinder Singh to corner glory. Interestingly, Indian Oil have completed a hat-trick of Beighton Cup wins – they won the 122nd edition in 2018 pipping Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) 4-2 in a shootout after being locked 3-3 in regulation time. The oilmen overcame the same opponents 5-3 in the 121st edition in 2016.
The prestigious Beighton Cup was initiated in 1895 and Calcutta Naval Volunteers AC won the inaugural edition. The Beighton Cup is named after its donor late T D Beighton, legal remembrancer of the government of West Bengal. The reputed tournament was been held every year since 1895 save for two occasions – it was first not held in 1947 due to riots and then again in 2017 as the SAI Astroturf was not tournament-ready.