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Obaidullah Gold Cup set to return

other Updated: Sep 29, 2009 01:24 IST
Khurram Habib
Khurram Habib
Hindustan Times
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One of India's premier domestic hockey tournaments, the Obaidullah Khan Gold Cup, which had not been held for the past eight years, will finally see the light of the day this October.

The tournament, which was a regular feature at Bhopal's Aishbagh stadium since pre-Independence days, was last held in 2002.

A spate of controversies surrounding the legality of the Bhopal Hockey Association had stalled this tournament, which had begun in the 1931-32 season through the initiative of the members of the royal family.

While the event was off the roster, the stadium's turf too suffered. It developed lacerations and it was only this year that it was finally made fit to play.

International umpire and Premier Hockey League (PHL) director Shakeel Qureshi, who is also the joint secretary of the organising committee, said, “This is an important step in reviving hockey. We've seen some of the big and old national-level tournaments suffer.

“Either they've disappeared or have lost significance. This tournament sees some of the best teams in the country compete and its revival is good for the game.”

The 16-team All-India tournament will begin on October 11. A local selection tournament for the city teams will precede it.