Jalandhar, October 24: The stage is set for the 40th Indian Oil Servo Surjit Hockey Tournament here at the local Olympian Surjit Hockey Stadium, Burlton Park from today (October 25).
The tournament will be inaugurated by Cabinet Minister Balkar Singh and the opening match will be played between Indian Navy Mumbai and FCI New Delhi.
Deputy Commissioner Vishesh Sarangal who is also the President of Surjit Hockey Society said that this tournament was held every year to keep the name of the former captain of the Indian hockey team, Olympian late Sardar Surjit Singh Randhawa alive who lost his life in a tragic car accident near Jalandhar on January 7, 1984.
Mr. Sarangal said that 40th edition of the tournament would be played on a knockout-cum-league basis. The last year’s champions Indian Railways New Delhi, Army-XI Delhi and Punjab National Bank New Delhi have been placed in Pool-B while last year’s runners-up Indian Oil, Mumbai, former champions Punjab and Sind Bank New Delhi and the Indian Air Force Delhi team has been seeded in Pool-B.
The two teams will qualify from the knockout stage from teams namely BSF Jalandhar, Punjab Police, Indian Navy Mumbai, CAG New Delhi and FCI New Delhi. The FCI New Delhi qualified from Surjit pre-qualifying round. The other teams in this round were CRPF, Delhi, Army (Green), Bangalore, RCF. Kapurthala, ITBP Chandigarh and CISF New Delhi.
The tournament ccommittee has been expecting a large number of hockey spectators this year. Under the slogan “Watch Surjit Hockey–Win ALTO Car”, this year also Surjit Hockey Society decided to award MARUTI ALTO Car along with other prizes like Refrigerators and LCDs etc. to the spectators, who will come to witness the Surjit Hockey matches. The main idea is to attract & to create more interest amongst the general public for our national game of Hockey.
He also said that spectators would get daily lucky coupons till November 3, 2023 at the entry gate of the stadium while players will be issued the lucky coupons on the day of their first match. The lucky draw for the ALTO Cars and other prizes will be held on Nov. 3, 2023, soon after the final match.
The matches will be played under flood lights in the stadium and the entry of spectators will be free. All arrangements for living, transport, security, medical etc. of the players and officials have been completed.
There would be a colorful cultural program on the final day of the tournament where popular Punjabi folk singer Babbu Maan will enthrall the audience before the final match starts at 4.00 pm on November 3.
CEO of Society Iqbal Singh Sandhu, Secretary of the Society, Ranbir Singh Tut and Working President of the tournament Lakhwinder Pal Singh Khaira said that apart from Cabinet Minister, local MLAs besides Piyush Mittal, CGM (Retail Sales), Indian Oil will attend as a guest during the tournament.
Indian Oil Corporation Limited’ will be the main title sponsor of the tournament while Gakhal Brothers of America will be the co-sponsor of the tournament.