New Delhi: In a novel gesture, the BCCI today invited the national hockey team as special guests to watch the Indian cricket team’s ICC World T20 group league encounter against Bangladesh at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. This is the first time that BCCI has officially invited a full national team of another sport to come and watch a match at the global event.
The Indian hockey team led by Sardar Singh is currently having a national camp in the ‘Garden City’ ahead of their Sultan Azlan Shah Trophy encounter in Ipoh (Malaysia). Sardar confirmed that they have indeed received invitation from the BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur to come and support Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his boys.
“Yes, the invite came from the BCCI secretary. It has been a nice gesture on the part of the cricket board. We would be cheering the national team from the stands,” Sardar told PTI today.
It has been learnt that BCCI has arranged for VIP tickets as well as for the transportation of the entire hockey team. “The initiative was taken by Mr Thakur after he came to know that the hockey players are in Bengaluru,” a Hockey India official said on conditions of anonymity.
The Indian hockey team was last time seen cheering the Davis Cup team during their tie against the Czech Republic in the national capital last year.
However there was no formal invitation from the AITA as such but since the hockey team normally stays at the DLTA, the players often come to the stands to watch the tennis team in action.