SV Sunil the star for Bharat Petroleum against PNB
Kolkata: It will be battle between the stars of yesteryears and the future stars of Indian hockey on Tuesday for the final of the 121st Beighton Cup hockey final at the SAI.
Bharat Petroleum (BPCL) and Indian Oil registered comfortable victories in the semi-finals on Monday to set up a title clash.
Former India hockey star Deepak Thakur was the star performer for India Oil. Thakur scored a brace in the second half to give his side a 5-3 win over ONGC. At one point of time Indian Oil were trailing 2-3, but came back strongly to seal a berth in the final.
V.R. Raghunath and Roshan Minz also sounded the board for Indian Oil, while junior hockey World Cup champion team members Gurjant Singh and Vikramjeet Singh along with Gurbaz Singh scored for ONGC.
Deepak, who was part of the victorious Junior Hockey World Champion Indian team in 2001 feel it will be a tough challenge for the likes of Harjit Singh, Simranjeet Singh and others to establish themselves in senior hockey team. According to Deepak, “It will be definitely challenging. It will be a good thing if the core group of boys that won the junior world cup can make the cut for the senior team. During our time at least 10-11 players that were part of the junior world cup champion team made the senior team. We won the Asian Cup, Azlan Shah Trophy, Prime Ministers Gold Cup in Dhaka. So the federation continued with the set up. We need to continue with this batch for 3-4 years, we can be hopeful of a positive result in 2020.”
Talking about the final, Deepak commented, “The Bharat Petroleum team is almost the same set up as the Indian team. They will pose a tough challenge for us in the final tomorrow. They have been playing together for a long time. The coach is also with them in Indian team. But at the end of the day it will be match of 70 minutes. Let’s see who has the last laugh.”
In another semi-final Bharat Petroleum got past defending champions Punjab National Bank 5-2. For Bharat Petroleum, India vice-captain and forward S.V. Sunil was the star scoring four goals with Jarnail Singh netting the other. Gagandeep Singh and Shamsher reduced the margin for PNB.
Sunil was playing his first match since getting injured in his right wrist at Rio Olympics during a match against Canada. It was the first competitive match for Sunil ahead of the Hockey India League. Sunil will play for Jaypee Punjab Warriors in HIL. Bharata Petroleum will be banking on its star forward to come good in the final as well against Indian Oil.
The final will take place on Tuesday.