Bhopal : In a first-of-its-kind announcement, the Madhya Pradesh Government will give away a prize bonanza of Rs 51.00 lakhs for the winners of the Obaidullah Khan Heritage Hockey Cup which is scheduled to take place from September 14 to September 21 at the historical Aishbagh Hockey Stadium in Bhopal, MP.
The tournament is viewed as one of most prestigious domestic events in India with the participation of 12 top teams in the country such as Air India, BPCL, ONGC, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Indian Railways, Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy, Association of India Universities, Punjab Sindh Bank, Punjab National Bank, Central Secretariat Sports Control Board (CSSCB), Food Corporation of India (FCI) and Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) who will vie for top honours.
The highlight of the tournament is the star-studded line-up of players who recently represented the country at the Rio Olympics including Arjuna Awardee VR Raghunath, SV Sunil, Manpreet Singh, Devinder Walmiki, Nikkin Thimmaiah, SK Uthappa, Kothajit Singh, Ramandeep Singh and the Indian Team Coach Tushar Khandker who will represent their respective teams.
The Winners will receive Rs 51.00 lakhs, while the Runners Up will receive Rs 21.00 lakhs, third placed team will be awarded Rs 11.00 lakhs and the fourth placed team will walk away with Rs 5.00 lakhs. With a lucrative announcement of this accord, hockey in the country is certainly seeing an upswing and this effort will only help youngsters to view the sport as a viable career option.
“The Obaidullah Khan Heritage Hockey Cup is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the country which the players are looking forward to participating in. Such large format tournaments with such an attractive prize money held on the domestic level does a lot for building the popularity of the sport in India. We are very pleased with this initiative of the Madhya Pradesh Government and look forward to a successful tournament,” stated Md Mushtaque Ahmad, Secretary General, Hockey India.
Apart from the cash awards for team winners, the organisers will also give away Rs 5000 each to the Player of the Match. The first match is scheduled to be held between IOC & ONGC in Bhopal on 14 September 2016.