Regional (M.P & C.G)

CM Inaugurates Obaidullah Khan Gold Cup

Bhopal  —  Fireworks heralded the return of hockey to the Aishbagh stadium after a gap of eight years as Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan inaugurated the Obaidullah Khan Gold Cup Hockey Tournament at a glittering ceremony on Tuesday.

Hockey stars Ajit Singh, Harwinder Singh, Ashok Dhyanchand, Ashok Dewan and local heroes Inam-ur-Rehman, Aslam Sher Khan, Sameer Dad and Jalaluddin Rizvi were felicitated at the function.

Speaking on the occasion, Chouhan said tournament winners could expect to take home a gold trophy starting next year.

Providing a sneak preview of the presentation ceremony scheduled for March 29 this year, Chouhan said members of the national hockey squad will be presented cheques for rupees one lakh for each of the eighteen goals scored by players in the recently concluded World Cup.

Chouhan had earlier promised to incentivize the goal scorers with a cash reward of rupee one lakh per goal scored during the World Cup.

Reiterating his commitment to promote the sport, the chief minister said that the sport would not be allowed to die in the state.

Noted commentator Jasdev Singh, MP Kailash Joshi, UAD Minister Babulal Gaur, Home Minister Umashankar Gupta, Sports Minister Tukoji Rao Puar and Bhopal Mayor Krishna Gaur attended the inaugural ceremony.

Once a prominent fixture on the national hockey calendar, the gold cup was discontinued in 2002 due to deterioration in facilities at the Aishbagh and intense politicking in the faction-ridden Bhopal Hockey Association (BHA).

Though traditionally organised by the BHA, the Gold Cup, this year, is being organised by the state government’s department of sports and youth welfare.

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