Bhubaneswar, October 3: 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 here.
Pillay and Tirkey will lead their respective teams comprising a mix of past and present players of the national team. Familiar faces to feature 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 will showcase the newly-refurbished Kalinga Stadium that plays host to the Odisha Hockey Men's World Cup beginning here on November 28. Speaking about 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." Tirkey added, "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."
Vishal Dev, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Department of Sports and Youth Services, Odisha government said the refurbished Kalinga Stadium will offer best of facilities to both players and fans. "With an aim to provide best of the sports infrastructures, the Odisha state government remodelled Kalinga stadium into an international sports complex providing facilities for all kinds of sports and games," he said.
"Both, the practice and main pitches have been re-laid with a new blue turf as per the FIH specification. The stadium capacity has also been increased from 8500 to 15000, whilst adding 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.