An exhibition match between hockey legends Dhanraj Pillay and Dilip Tirkey’s sides will be played on October 10 to mark the inauguration of the newly-refurbished Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. The teams comprise a mix of past and present players of the national team.
The newly refurbished Kalinga Stadium is set to open on October 10th and hockey fans in Bhubaneswar will see teams consisting of past and present players compete in the first exhibition match the stadium. Many hockey stars featuring in the match include goalkeeper PR Sreejesh, Manpreet Singh, Harmanpreet Singh and also retired former captain Sardar Singh, Viren Rasquinha, Deepak Thakur among others.
The match is supposed to showcase the newly-refurbished Kalinga Stadium that plays host to all of the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup games beginning on November 28.
Speaking on the exhibition match, Pillay said, “Odisha Government is breathing new life into hockey and I thank them for such initiatives. This is a landmark event in Indian hockey – an exhibition match with legends of the game and Team India.
“I do hope that we are able to entertain the capacity crowd that will be at the Kalinga Stadium along with every hockey fan sitting at home and watching us,”
“There is no better way to portray the glory of Odisha and Kalinga Stadium than getting the past and present of hockey together by the way of this iconic match. I am really excited about the face off against Dhanraj and team.”
The stadium originally had its founding stone laid in 1978 by Biju Patnaik and was built in 2010. The Hockey stadium has already been used for a major number of events like the Hockey Champions trophy in 2014, FIH Hockey World League in 2017 and the 4 seasons of Hockey India League from 2014-17.
According to FIH specifications, the stadium will now have blue turf laid on both Practice and Main pitches. The stadium capacity has also been increased from 8500 to 15000, and will have two new galleries in the north and south ends of the stadium.
Team Dhanraj Pillay: Dhanraj Pillay (Captain), PR Sreejesh (GK), Viren Rasquinha, Sardar Singh, Prabhjyot Singh, Sandeep Singh, Varun Kumar, Harmanpreet Singh, Gurinder Singh, Kothajit Singh , Jarmanpreet Singh, Chinglensana Singh Kangujam, Simranjeet Singh, Hardik Singh, S V Sunil, Gurjant Singh, Dilpreet Singh, Pradeep Singh; Coach: Harendra Singh.
Team Dilip Tirkey: Dilip Tirkey (Captain), Krishan Bahadur Pathak (GK), Ignance Tirkey, VR Raghunath, Deepak Thakur, Manpreet Singh, Dipsan Tirkey, Rupinder Pal Singh, Suraj Karkera, Nilam Sanjeep Xess, Surender Kumar, Amit Rohidas, Sumit, Nilakanta Sharma, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Akashdeep Singh, Mandeep Singh, Sumit Kumar; Coach: Chris Ciriello.
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