Kolkata could play host to HIL, says SAI regional director
Kolkata, Dec 27 (IANS) The Hockey India League (HIL) could soon be seen on the Sports Authority of India (SAI) training centre pitch here, its regional director Manmeet Singh Goindi said on Tuesday.
“(HIL chairman Narinder) Batra is coming to the city end of January and I have already had a word with him. He has promised me something, and for that I want to relay the turf to a blue one (as in HIL venues),” Goindi said on the sidelines of the 121st All India Beighton Cup which Indian Oil won for the fifth time.
“The idea is to have HIL matches here. That is why I want the astro turf which has been there for seven years now relaid and floodlights installed. The work has been earmarked, and the tendering now has to be done,” he added.
Batra was elected president of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) last month and according to Goindi he will be felicitated by the West Bengal government for his feat of becoming the first Indian to take the top job in the sport which has had a turbulent administration in India throughout the 90s and the 2000s.
At present, Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar; Shivaji Hockey Stadium, Delhi; Mahindra Hockey Stadium, Mumbai; Hockey Stadium, Chandigarh; Astroturf Hockey Stadium, Ranchi and Dhyan Chand Sports College, Lucknow are the six venues which host the tournament.
“We could have a team from Bengal. Let’s see. Plans are there and he (Narinder Batra) is a dear friend of mine. I am sure if I request him, he won’t turn it down and will try and keep my word,” Goindi added.
The 2017 edition of the HIL, featuring six sides, starts January 21.