Hero Hockey India League!

Posted on February 14, 2014
Location: Bhubaneswar, India
Hero Hockey India League!

Valentine's day; evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as "valentines").  And what is the definition of lover? A person who loves. Can we be lover to our friends, parents, relatives? Don't know - what do you think? But I do LOVE everyone around me, my friends, my family, my brothers, my sisters, my acquaintances and most importantly my son....the Rishi Rehan Mohanty. Hence, I am a lover - no?  So, on this auspicious occasion, my parents granted me some time off from the regular hospital duty of my mother, who has recently undergone a surgery.  And we choose to experience something different – I.e. commercialization of our national sports “HOCKEY”.

Cricket has been a religion in India since a century OR more. Is it good enough? Can everyone afford to watch cricket live? Can all of the one billion people of our country find interest in just cricket and nothing else? May be not. Hence; I think the commercialization/popularization of other sports can bring the much needed mental stimulation that people our nation, waiting to experience in this capitalistic time. Football is a religion in European countries, so is Cricket, so is Rugby, so is Golf, so is Hockey. Sports in European countries, in general is such an integral part of people’s life; that people use these for socialization, for relaxation, for discussion, and for many other reasons. And if we achieve this in India, I am sure it will provide people with a platform, to get involved with, to relax, to socialize, to participate & to get united. And where there is unity and consciousness; there is no place for crime & violence. Sports for awakening the nation!   

Hockey India League; abbreviated as HIL, is a professional league for field hockey competition in India.  It is organized by Hockey India. The tournament is contested among five franchisee-based teams (originally planned as six) consisting of players from India and around the world. The entire event takes place on home and away basis culminating into multi header playoffs. The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has sanctioned the event and also provides a 30-day window at the beginning of a year so that all top players can participate. It is currently sponsored by two-wheeler manufacturer Hero Motor Corp, and is therefore officially known as Hero Hockey India League or HHIL.

The first season of HIL was played from 14 January to 10 February 2013,  and was contested among five teams out of which Ranchi Rhinos became champions after defeating Delhi Waveriders 2–1 in the final.  The second season of the tournament  is under progress and  our home team  " Kalinga Lancers"  are participating for the first time in the tournament.

Kalinga Lancers (abbreviated as KL) is the local hockey team, for our state “Odisha”; based in Bhubaneswar that plays in the Hockey India League.  It is jointly owned by two local business houses from Odisha state I.e.   Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) and Mahanadi Coalfield Limited (MCL).  Former Australian striker Terry Walsh is the head coach of the team while former Indian captain Dilip Tirkey is the chief mentor and advisor of the team. People from Eastern part of our country, from Odisha & Jharkhand states, generally play good hockey and find a place in national hockey team quite regularly.

I am convinced that Hockey India League is a great idea and it is visibly getting popular across the country; from what I can see from the stadium being fully packed to its capacity, rise in whistles/noise/fireworks, shortage of tickets and a good demographic profile of audience during the match. Nation Building in progress! Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

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