Hockey 9s can do for the sport what T20 did to cricket: Dwyer

Australian striker Jamie Dwyer believes the forthcoming Hockey 9s Super Series will transform the sport,the way Twenty20 influenced the game of cricket.

Written by Press Trust Of India | Perth | Published: October 19, 2011 12:22:00 am

Australian striker Jamie Dwyer believes the forthcoming Hockey 9s Super Series will transform the sport,the way Twenty20 influenced the game of cricket.

The twice FIH Player of Year and arguably the world’s best forward in hockey at the moment,Dwyer feels Hockey 9s,with its changed rules and widened goalposts will encourage a lot more goals to be scored,providing more thrill to spectators — akin to the flurry of sixes and fours in a T20 match. “Hockey needs a shorter version to entertain spectators. Sixes and fours went up by leaps in cricket after T20 was invented. In Hockey 9s,I expect more goals. This is what spectators want to see,” the most capped (254) current Australian player said.

Dwyer is part of the Australian squad chief coach Ric Charlesworth announced for the forthcoming International Super Series Hockey 9s,a quadrangular competition that starts on Thursday. “If the Hockey 9s clicks,it will prove to be a boon for the promotion of sport,” the striker who has 160 international goals against his name said. “I am not a defender or goalkeeper. My job is to score goals. If the new rule would create more goal scoring opportunities,it’s good for me,I will savour it. I will definitely go for more goals any day,” Dwyer added.

Dwyer said the Australians found the new format exciting during a recent practice match. “I found the game is now open for skills,speed and accuracy. There is no unwanted stoppages. Stoppages have also become practically nil compared to the traditional format,where even pre-penalty corner phase takes a minute or so,” he said.

Dwyer also explained the difference in skill set that will be required to master in the new format,which is a brainchild of Charlesworth. “You need expertise in drag-flicking to convert penalty corners currently,but the new format is different; any good striker can manage that. The game is now more open,” he said.

Indian men win 5-4

Rockingham: SV Sunil and Yuvraj Walmiki combined well to help India men team overcome a fighting New Zealand 5-4 in their second international friendly on Tuesday. India took a three-goal lead within the first 22 minutes of play but were let down by poor defence that saw the Kiwis come back to level scores early in the second half at the Hellswood Sports Complex.

Sunil put India ahead in the very first minute of the match before setting up Yuvraj Walmiki for another within two minutes. V Raghunath then converted India’s second penalty corner in the 22nd minute to give what seemed an unassailable lead. But the Kiwis scored thrice in a space of ten minutes to open up the game. Blair Hilton scored a brace (49th and 59th min) while Shay Neal scored one.

Yuvraj again put India ahead in the 60th minute before Tushar Khandker consolidated it three minutes later. Though New Zealand managed to score another goal towards the end off Stephen Jennes in the 65th,it wasn’t enough.

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