Punjab Gold Cup promises exciting hockey

January 30th, 2009 - 7:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, Jan 30 (IANS) Hockey lovers are eagerly waiting to witness some exciting game from top international teams as the four-nation Punjab Gold Cup tournament gets underway at Sector 42 stadium here Saturday.Apart from hosts India, Olympic champions Germany, European champions Netherlands and New Zealand will compete in the event.

The state government is upbeat about the success of the tournament and has taken several initiatives to attract crowd.

“We want everybody to become a part of this event. We have started a graffiti signing programme, under which we have placed huge boards at various prominent places of the city so that spectators can write there messages and wishes for their favourite stars,” Harisharan Singh, one of the organisers, told IANS Friday.

“We are also distributing free passes. We are giving an open invitation to everyone to come here to see the matches. We will distribute over 20,000 free passes by Saturday evening,” he said.

A colourful cultural extravaganza will inaugurate the tournament Saturday. Nearly 10,000 spectators are expected to see the matches under floodlights.

“It is a rare opportunity to see the top players from Germany and Holland playing here. I have already collected the passes for all matches and made plans with my friends to see the matches,” said Subodh Sharma, an engineering student.

Puneet Bhalla, a hockey fan, said, “The competition will be tough for India but we will support them to win the tournament. Recently our team has performed well against Netherlands and Argentina. We are hoping them to do well.”

Host India will play the inaugural match of the series against New Zealand Saturday.

Doordarshan will telecast the matches live.

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