The country’s domestic hockey circuit will get an extra dose of excitement after the successful conduct of the recent 38th Surjit Hockey Tournament, with another prestigious domestic hockey tourney – 57th Senior Nehru Hockey Tourney – getting underway at the South-Central Railways Sports Complex in Hyderabad from November 14. The Jawaharlal Nehru Hockey Tournament Society (JNHTS) – the organizers of the coveted tournament – are leaving no stone unturned to make the 57th edition a grandiose success.
This is not the first time the Senior Nehru Hockey Tourney has been held outside New Delhi – the 55th edition was held at Chandigarh at the Sector 42 Stadium owing to the non-availability of the New Delhi-based Shivaji Stadium. In a big boost for the country’s domestic hockey circuit, the JNHTS has roped in Gooncha Group as the title sponsor of the 57th Senior Nehru Hockey Tourney. “We are delighted to have Gooncha Group as the title sponsor of the 57th Senior Nehru Hockey Tourney. We have signed an MoU with Gooncha Group and are committed to having Senior Nehru Tourney this year and next year in Hyderabad. This is tournament was born out of the support of the highest people in the society and the Indian government – such is the creditability of this tourney that President of India has also graced the finals on many occasions. Moving the Senior Nehru Tourney to Hyderabad is surely an organization milestone,” says Kukoo Walia, former international umpire, commentator, and secretary-general of Jawaharlal Nehru Hockey Tournament Society.
Walia accentuates the importance of the tournament. “For so many decades every player who served the national team at some point of time have played in the Senior Nehru Hockey Tournament. Illustrious names such as Prithipal Singh, Surjit Singh, Ashok Kumar, Inam-ur-Rehman, Harcharan Singh, Ajit Pal Singh Zafar Iqbal and Pargat have graced this tournament, which only speaks volumes of the stature of Senior Nehru Hockey Tournament.”
The JNHTS secretary-general provides a low down about what’s on offer for all the participating teams. “The winners of 57th edition will receive Rs 4 lakh, while the runner-up team will take home a purse of Rs 2 lakh. We have also taken a call to give away a Benelli Imperiale 400 BS6 Classic Motorbike to ‘Best Play as ‘Player of the Match’ award of each match.”
The 57th Senior Nehru Hockey Tourney has attracted the leading lights of domestic hockey such as Punjab & Sind Bank, Punjab National Bank, Indian Oil, Indian Railways, Army XI, ONGC among a total of 14 teams.