The Indian domestic hockey circuit seems to be back to its usual best after the prolonged absence of hockey activity owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. The 38th Surjit Hockey Tournament held at Jallandhar marked the start of the domestic circuit – it witnessed high standards of domestic hockey – the next domestic hockey stop – the 31st Lal Bahadur Shastri Hockey Tournament saw rivalries being renewed between top domestic teams. A high dose of hockey excitement is anticipated at the Gooncha 57th Senior Nehru Hockey Tournament that has been moved to Hyderabad after being held for years in New Delhi – it will be played at the South-Central Railways Sports Complex from November 14-23.
The Jawaharlal Nehru Hockey Tournament Society (JNHTS) – the organizers of the coveted tournament – has put in place a knockout phase for eight teams, wherein four teams are clubbed in two pools with the pool toppers featuring in the quarterfinal league phase, where leading lights such as defending champions Punjab National Bank, Indian Oil, Punjab & Sind Bank, Indian Railways, Army XI and CAG XI are seeded directly.
Eight teams featuring in the knockout phase are Mumbai XI, Tamil Nadu XI, South Central Railway, and Indian Air Force in Pool A. RCF, Delhi, Telangana XI, and Indian Navy are placed in Pool B.
‘The winners of the 57th edition will receive Rs 4 lakh, while the runner-up team will take home a purse of Rs 2 lakh. A Benelli Imperiale 400 BS6 Classic Motorbike will be awarded to the ‘Player of the Match’ award of each match.