Punjab Police Geared Up to Do Well Despite Missing Key Players

Punjab Police have a rich legacy in the prestigious Surjit Hockey Tourney. The policemen have won the Surjit Hockey Tourney six times – the most by any team after Punjab & Sind Bank’s whopping 11 title wins. Punjab Police had first won the Surjit Hockey Tourney in 1985 and did an encore in 1986. The Punjab cops subsequently won this high-profile tourney thrice in a span of five years – 1995, 1997 and 2000. Punjab Police had finished runners-up on four occasions as well – 1993, 1996, 2001 and 2004. However, after 2004 Punjab Police did not make it to the final up until the 2017 edition – their first title triumph in 17 years when they got the better of ONGC in the final.

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Punjab Police is now looking to make a big impression in the 38th Surjit Hockey Tourney. “We are excited and confident of doing well as this is our first domestic hockey tournament after a long gap owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. We have been preparing for a year now and we want to give a good account of ourselves in this tourney,” says Punjab Police player-cum-coach Simranjit Singh.

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Punjab Police team has Olympian Ramandeep Singh in its ranks besides former India goalkeeper Harjot Singh. The team is missing a lot of key players for the Surjit Hockey Tourney, especially Indian skipper Manpreet Singh and Akashdeep Singh. “Manpreet and Akashdeep are unavailable as they are attending the national camp in Bengaluru. We are also missing three former India players – Gurwinder Singh Chandi, Dharamvir Singh and Saravanjit Singh – all of whom are undergoing police training duties,” reveals Simranjit.

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A product of Surjit Hockey Academy, Simranjit, who has been playing senior-level hockey since 2011, feels that the competition is strong this time around. “Army XI, Indian Oil, Punjab National Bank and Punjab & Sind Bank are strong contenders. We will try to give our best shot and not like to think too much about our opponents. We reached the semifinals in 2018 and 2019 and would like to improve on that this year,” concluded the Punjab Police player-cum-coach.