– Kalinga Lancers to take-on Ranchi Rays in the inaugural match
New Delhi, 20 January 2015: The most-awaited hockey league in the world – the Hero Hockey India League 2015 is all set to begin with a dazzling Opening Ceremony at the illustrious Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar on 22nd January 2015. The 3rd edition of the League will start with a high intensity clash between home team Kalinga Lancers and last season’s semi-finalists Ranchi HIL Team, among the hockey-crazy fans of Odisha. It will be an out of the ordinary chance to witness who manages to score the initial point of the Hero HIL 2015 and takes an early lead in the points table.
After the thriving past seasons of the League, young talents of both Kalinga Lancers and Ranchi Rays are perfectly groomed-up and ready as a spirited side with the abilities to stun any mighty team. In this season, the Ranchi Rays are entirely focussed on winning the most number of matches with the objective to reach the finals. On the other side, Kalinga Lancers, who finished at the bottom of the table in their debut season, are now in a much better shape with a perfect team of settled as well as young talents. The Lancers have previously stunned the Ranchi HHIL Team by 4-1 at their home-turf last season and will now aim to be the victor of as many games as they can.
Led by the very experienced Indian skipper Sardar Singh, defending champions Delhi Waveriders will start their campaign against Uttar Pradesh Wizards on 23 January 2015 at Lucknow. Studded with celebrated players such as Simon Child, Matt Gohdes, Pirmin Blaak along with India’s top players such as Rupinder Pal Singh, Gurbaj Singh and Danish Mujtaba, the Delhi-based HHIL team is the top contender for the title and looks forward to win back-to-back championships, retaining it for their team. On the other hand, VR Raghunath-led UP Wizards will step-on their home turf with a single objective of starting the League on a winning note. The two-time semi-finalists have to break their jinx of losing knock-out matches to finish on peak of the table, reaching the semis and eventually the final.
Jaypee Punjab Warriors will commence their battle against Dabang Mumbai in their first match on 23 January 2015 at Mahindra Hockey Stadium in Mumbai. Jamie Dwyer-led Jaypee Punjab Warriors is aiming to finish the unfinished job of last season and are determined to clinch the 2015 Hero HIL title. With top players such as Jaap Stockman, Mark Knowles, Sandeep Singh and SV Sunil in their line-up, Jaypee Punjab Warriors are among the favourites of the League. On the other side, Dabang Mumbai may not have many big names but they have a side with very talented and spirited players who have been training vigorously under a new management. Considered as the dark horses of this edition of the league, the newly assembled team is ready to take everyone by surprise.
Speaking on the League, Chairman, Dr. Narinder Batra said, “After the first two successful seasons, the best players from world over are all geared up this time too as we hope for a much more competitive and exciting League ahead. With new teams and fresh players joining us in this edition, I am sure this League will be a huge accomplishment and fruitfully serve the purpose of escalating the game of hockey to a new pinnacle. On behalf of the Hero Hockey India League, I wish very good luck to all the teams and look ahead to some spectacular performances in the coming weeks.”
For the Hero Hockey India League 2015, the match tickets are available online on www.BookMyShow.com / www.ticketgenie.in as well as the ticket counters set-up across all venue cities. To make the event more engaging, a fan contest will be organised and a lucky spectator of each match will be awarded a Hero motorcycle.
The League starts on 22 January in Bhubaneswar with a glittering Opening Ceremony from 6pm.