Defending champions Punjab & Sind Bank have been drawn in Pool C of the 38th Surjit Hockey Tournament that gets underway at the Army AstroTurf Hockey Ground, Katoch Stadium, Jalandhar Cantonment on Saturday. The 38th Surjit Hockey Tournament is organized every year by Surjit Hockey Society in fond memory of former Olympian and fullback Surjit Singh, who had died in a fatal road accident near Jallandhar in 1984.
Punjab & Sind Bank won the 36th edition in 2019 pipping Indian Oil, Mumbai 6-3 via a shootout after both teams were locked 2-2 in regulation time – they won the tourney a record 11 times. Punjab & Sind Bank are pitted in Pool C alongside Indian Air Force and BSF Jalandhar. BSF Jalandhar have won the Surjit Hockey Tournament twice back-to-back in 1998 and 1999 respectively.
The 2019 edition runner-up Indian Oil Mumbai are pitted in Pool A alongside Punjab National Bank and Indian Navy. Interestingly, Indian Oil Mumbai had last won the Surjit Hockey Tournament in 2014, getting the better of Punjab & Sind Bank in the final. Punjab National Bank have won the Surjit Hockey Tournament once in 2016.
Six times champions Punjab Police are placed in Pool B alongside RCF Kapurthala, and Army-XI Delhi. Punjab Police had last won the Surjit Hockey Tournament in 2017 pipping ONGC in the final. RCF Kapurthala had won the Surjit Hockey Tournament once – way back in 1987 when they defeated JCT Phagwara in the final. Army-XI Delhi have won the Surjit Hockey Tournament twice – their last win came in 2018 when they beat Indian Railway in the final.
Indian Railway who won the Surjit Hockey Tournament only once in 2015 when they put it across Indian Oil Mumbai in the final, are placed in Pool D alongside CRPF Delhi and CAG New Delhi. Four time champions Bharat Petroleum, Air India and ONGC have given the Surjit Hockey Tournament a miss this time around.
Pool A: PNB Delhi, Indian Navy, Indian Oil Mumbai
Pool B: Punjab Police, RCF Kapurthala, Army-XI Delhi
Pool C: Punjab & Sind Bank, Indian Air Force, BSF Jalandhar
Pool D: Indian Railway CRPF Delhi, CAG New Delhi