The country’s domestic hockey caravan moved to the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, where the 31st Lal Bahadur Shastri Hockey Tournament got underway on Saturday. The 38th Surjit Hockey Tournaments champions Indian Railways, Punjab National Bank, Indian Oil, CAG, Indian Navy, Indian Air Force, Delhi XI, and Haryana Hockey Academy are among eight teams taking part in this year’s edition. The Lal Bahadur Shastri Hockey Tournament is being held after a gap of one year owing to the Covid-19 pandemic – interestingly, the winners and runners-up of the last edition held in 2019 at the Guru Nanak Dev University Hockey Stadium in Amritsar – Air India and NCOE Sonipat have given the tournament a miss this time around. Air India had won the final 5-4 after both teams were locked 1-1 in regulation time.
Interestingly, the 29th edition of the Lal Bahadur Shastri Hockey Tournament was also held outside New Delhi at the Sector 42 Stadium in Chandigarh in 2018, where Punjab National Bank nosed out Air India 2-1 in the final to corner glory. Punjab National Bank had also won the 28th Lal Bahadur Shastri Hockey Tournament held in 2017 where they prevailed over Indian Railways 5-3. The bankmen had an easy 5-2 win over Namdhari XI to win the 27th edition held in 2016. ONGC won the 26th edition held in 2015, beating Indian Railways 5-2 (2-2) in the final.
Indian Railways, Punjab National Bank, Indian Navy, and CAG are pitted in Pool A. Indian Oil, Indian Air Force, Delhi XI, and Haryana Hockey Academy are placed in Pool B. The semifinals of the 31st Lal Bahadur Shastri Hockey Tournament will be played on November 12, with the final slated for November 13
Winners in Recent Years
|Air India||NCOE Sonipat||5-4 (1-1||2019|
|Punjab National Bank||Air India||2-1||2018|
|Punjab National Bank||Indian Railways||5-3||2017|
|Punjab National Bank||Namdhari XI||5-2||2016|
|ONGC||Indian Railways||5-2 (2-2)||2015|