Bengaluru, August 7: Hockey Karnataka on Wednesday (August 7) announced the return of annual hockey extravaganza, the Bangalore Cup Invitation All India Hockey Tournament (Men).
The tournament will begin on August 10 at the Field Marshal KM Cariappa Hockey Arena, Bengaluru. The 4th edition of this tournament will see top eight teams in the domestic circuit vie for the title that carries a prize money of Rs 4 Lakh while runners-up will walk away with Rs 2 Lakh.
The round-robin stage in the tournament will feature Indian Oil Corporation Limited, Mumbai (IOCL), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited, Mumbai (BPCL), Indian Navy, New Delhi, All India Customs, Mumbai in Pool A while Pool B consists of Army XI, Air India, Mumbai, Indian Air Force, New Delhi and hosts Hockey Karnataka.
Top two teams from Pool A and B in the round robin stage will play the semi-finals on August 17 while the final will be played on August 18.
"We are delighted to announce the return of the Bangalore Cup All India Hockey Tournament (Men). Our efforts at Hockey Karnataka are towards reviving hockey in the state and we are taking several measures to bring back the glorious days. I am sure with top India players turning up for the 4th edition of this tournament, we will have good spectator turn-out and attract young aspiring players to come and watch their favourite stars," said SVS Subramanya Gupta, President, Hockey Karnataka.
The tournament will see the participation of some top talents from across the nation. While home-grown Olympians VR Raghunath and SK Uthappa will represent IOCL which includes talented forwards Talwinder Singh and Affan Yousuf, the Air India team will have former India goalkeeping sensation Adrian D'Souza and VS Vinay play key roles.
BPCL team includes veteran Tushar Kandekar, Olympian Devindar Walmiki and Junior World Cup winning Captain Harjeet Singh among others while charismatic striker Nikkin Thimmaiah will play for hosts Hockey Karnataka. Army XI goalkeeper Akash Chikte, who was last seen in action for India at the World League Final in Bhubaneswar 2017, too will be seen in action as he hopes to find his rhythm after being out of action for over a year.
"This tournament provides a great opportunity for young India players who are vying to be selected for the National Coaching Camp again. Playing against top domestic teams will help them see where they stand and most importantly give them regular match-experience which is very important to stay relevant in the national scene," said Raghunath, also the Vice President of Hockey Karnataka.
In the previous edition held in 2017, ONGC won the tournament with South Central Railway ending their campaign as runners-up.