Before taking up cricket, the game that enticed Rahul Dravid most was hockey but the former India cricket captain soon realised that he was not fit for the sport after his school coach relegated him from centre-half to right-half position.
“I used to play hockey with (former India international) Sandeep Somesh in school days. Our coach Shiv Prakash fielded me as the centre half saying we are relying on you for a stuff like that. But when I graduated for another level, Sandeep also was there. The coach then relegated me to right-half and I quickly realised I am not cut out for hockey. Luckily I had cricket to root for,” he said during the announcement of the second edition of Bengaluru Cup 2015 to be organised by Hockey Karnataka here.
“Watching Sandeep and Anil Adrin play hockey made me realise that playing another sport was better option for me, but it was exciting play hockey alongside Anil and Sandeep.Thank you very much Anil and Sandeep,” Dravid said.
The tournament will feature six teams from across the country in both men and women’s categories.
The teams battling it out at the tournament are Air India, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd, Army XI, Karnataka XI and ONGC in the men’s category and Punjab XI, Haryana XI, Karnataka XI, Jharkhand, MP Academy and RCF in the women’s section.
Talking about the tournament, Dravid said such events gives a platform to young players to rub shoulders with established players.
“Hockey Karnataka offers young hockey players a fantastic opportunity by giving them a chance to rub shoulders with some of the most prominent and established players in the country,” he said.
Dravid asked the media to create a buzz about hockey exactly they do it for cricket and other sports.
Swimmer Nisha Millet, who was also present on the occasion, said, “This initiative helps create an intrigue and buzz among the masses about the sport. The Bengaluru Cup is a platform for hockey players in India to showcase their calibre. My best wishes and support to the tournament and we look forward to the event.”
Honorary joint secretary of Hockey Karnataka, Sandeep said with this tournament, they endeavour to amplify awareness and assist the development of the sport at the grassroot level.
“With the help of Hockey Karnataka, we look at unearthing and honing promising talents from the state. We intend to pave a way for the growth of the game in the country and showcase the best hockey talent from across India,” he said.