Uncertainty over the 7th Senior National Men’s Hockey Championship in Lucknow seems to be over as the Hockey India on Monday rescheduled the 21-day event for June 5 instead of April 17.
According to sources, the event was about to be shifted to another venue after Uttar Pradesh Hockey showed reluctance in holding the event from April 17 citing non-availability of adequate facilities for the stay of 56 teams, including 20 in the ‘A’ division.
Even the authorities concerned had informed the Hockey India about their intentions last week but instead of accepting their demand, Hockey India agreed to reschedule the event.
“It is an issue of commitment for a state association and we had planned everything accordingly. There was no question of a change in venue,” an official at Hockey India told HT on condition of anonymity on Monday.
“We have rescheduled the event after discussing with the Uttar Pradesh Hockey. The event will take place in Lucknow,” he said. The new schedule has been updated on the website of Hockey India.
The event was originally scheduled to be held from April 17 to May 7 (April 17-29 for B Division and April 27-May 7 for A Division). A whopping 120 matches are scheduled to be played this time which is a record of sorts. A total of 100 matches were played in the last edition.
The ‘B division’ matches comprising 36 teams will be played from June 5-17 while 20 teams will be seen in action in the ‘A division’ scheduled from June 15-27. Matches will be played at Major Dhyanchand Stadium and the Padmashri Mohd Shahid Stadium in Vijayantkhand Stadium (Gomti Nagar).
This will be the sixth national championship to be hosted by Uttar Pradesh Hockey. Prior to this, it conducted two senior men’s nationals, two senior women’s nationals and one junior nationals besides the junior men’s Hockey World Cup in December.