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Polo team for America

other Updated: Jul 04, 2009 22:48 IST
HT Correspondent

It'll be a grand American-style hospitality when India play in the America's Polo Cup at Washington in June next year. By playing in the prestigious tournament, India will join the likes of Britain and Australia to have competed in the showpiece polo event.

The captain of the American team, Tareq Salahi, who announced the two-match series here, said the event had become so popular that some 15,000 spectators converged at the Capitol Hill --- the seat of American power --- every year to witness the matches. "In order to make it a grand success, the US Navy flies its F-18 aircraft over the ground before the start of the matches. The proceeds (between $4-5 million each year) go to charity," said Salahi.

"This time around we also plan to unveil the biggest-ever tricolour before the start of the series. It will be a 3,000 sq ft Indian flag and we hope to get it recorded in the Guinness Book of Records. The event has become such a rage in the US that its been given a TRP rating of 4.6 million viewers by Reuters," said Salahi.

After India play in the US, there will be a return leg in 2011. "The Indian Polo Association has informed us that they would be sending a 20-goal handicap team. You can judge the popularity of the tournament from the fact that Tiger Woods sent his event management people to us in 2008… he has incorporated quite a few innovative features in his AT&T National golf tournament currently underway at Bethesda (Maryland)," said Salahi.