New Delhi, 29 August 2014: The newly constructed International Hockey Stadium with a blue artificial turf in Raipur, Chhattisgarh was inaugurated on the occasion of the 109th birth anniversary of the late. Major Dhyan Chand and National Sports Day, today. The stadium with a capacity of 4000 spectators was inaugurated by the Speaker of Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly, Hon’ble Gauri Shankar Agarwal. Mr. Ramesh Bais, Member of Parliament was also present at the occasion. This is the second International Hockey Stadium with a blue astroturf inaugurated in the state after the International Hockey Stadium in Rajnandgaon which was inaugurated earlier this year.
The occasion also witnessed an exhibition match played between India ‘A’ and India ‘B’ teams. The players of the Silver Medal winning Indian Men Hockey Team at the recently concluded XX Commonwealth Games 2014 also played this exhibition match where Sardar Singh led India ‘A’ outplayed Vikram Kanth led India ‘B’ 4-1.
India ‘A’ dominated both the halves of exhibition match. Forward Nikkin Thimmaiah managed to beat opponent’s defenders and scored the first goal of the match in the 16th minute. However, India ‘B’ midfielder Harjeet Singh leveled the score 1-1 in the 20th minute through a field goal. In the 26th minute, Dharamvir Singh of India ‘A’ scored a goal and helped his team to lead the first half 2-1.
In the second half, India ‘A’ midfielders Chinglensana Singh Kangujam and Dharamvir Singh scored two goals each in 33rd and 44th minutes respectively to help their team win the match 4-1. The crowd was elated to see spectacular hockey from both sides and cheered for their favourite players till the final whistle of the match.
Speaking on the occasion, India ‘A’ Captain Sardar Singh said, “First of all I wish a very happy birthday to our inspiration, late Major Dhyan Chand on his 109th birth anniversary. It’s a great way to celebrate the Wizard’s birthday by playing an exhibition match, marking the inauguration of the International Hockey Stadium here today. This stadium will help to attract and motivate more youngsters to come forward and make a future in this game.”