Four years ago in January,the Chandigarh Dynamos team led by Rajpal Singh were greeted by a raucous group of hockey fans despite finishing second in Premier Hockey League. That they finished runners-up twice in four seasons of PHL meant a lot to the hockey lovers from the Tricity.
Come February 29 and hockey fans can once again see star players and cheer for their respective team in World Series Hockey at the Sector 42 Hockey Stadium,home of Chandigarh Comets. WSH,spread over 34 days,will look to recapture the magic of Premier Hockey League.
PHL was very successful with people from Chandigarh and around the Tricity. A lot of people in this region support hockey. People here love hockey and I see no reason why WSH will not be a success with them, said Shariq Patel,director,Chandigarh Comets. With successful captain and veteran Pakistan forward Rehan Butt and a shrewd coach Harendra Singh,Chandigarh Comets will begin their campaign adorned in orange-red uniforms against Bhopal Badshahs on February 29. Their success,according to Patel,will depend on how they start the tournament.
We are one of the first teams to have started practice sessions and the players are in good touch and hungry for success. Doing well in the early stages of the tournament is the key, Patel said.
Each team will play 14 league matches out of the total 56 till April 2,just before the new season of Indian Premier League kicks off.
Gala opening ceremony
An explosive opening ceremony is in the waiting for people across Tricity. Saif Ali Khan and Bollywood star Neha Dhupia will enthral the crowd. Also,heating up the evening would be star singers Mika and Harshdeep Kaur among others. Also,the organisers have given a Punjabi touch to the occasion as dholki walas and bhangra dancers will also perform on the night. Cheerleaders will also be present during the matches. They will be clad in traditional clothes and perform bhangra and gidda.