Mumbai : Former champions Air India, after a one year gap of one year will be making a comeback and have confirmed their participation in the MHAL organised 14th PMC Bank-All India Guru Tegh Bahadur Gold Cup Hockey Tournament, which is scheduled to be played at the MHAL-Mahindra Stadium, Churchgate from October 14 to 23, 2018. The fancied Air India side, had emerged champions in 2016, but did not participate and defend their title last year due to non-availability of players. Air India, who had reached the semi-finals of the K.D. Singh Babu Hockey Tournament in Lucknow early this month, would be keen to regain the title.
However, Indian Oil, the joint winners with South Central Railway last year, have withdrawn from the tournament due to paucity of players. The key players of the Indian Oil team are currently on national duty, either participating in the Sultan Johor Cup or some players are in the national camp in preparation for the various International tournaments like Youth Olympics and Asia Cup. Besides Air India the other teams that would be seen in action include, South Central Railway, Punjab National Bank, Hockey Bhopal, Central Secretariat, Central Railway, Western Railway, Indian Navy and Union Bank of India. The teams would be fighting for the winners’ cheque of Rs two lakhs and the glittering Guru Tegh Bahadur Gold Cup, while the runners-up would receive a cash award of Rs one lakh.
In addition individual cash prizes of Rs 5,000 each would be presented to Best goalkeeper, defender, midfielder and the emerging player of the tournament and the player of the final. In Group-B matches on Sunday, Western Railway will meet Central Secretariat at 2.30pm followed by the match between Indian Navy and Hockey Bhopal. The Groupings – Group-A: Punjab National Bank, Air India, Central Railway, Union Bank of India. Group-B: South Central Railway, Indian Navy, Western Railway, Hockey Bhopal, Central Secretariat.