Hockey World Cup: Brothers in arms - Gujarat, Punjab propel New Zealand & Canadian hockey
Panchia siblings, Arun (29) and Jerad (25), are of Gujarati ancestry and are part of the New Zealand team.Updated: Nov 29, 2018 17:17 IST
Though there is no player from Gujarat in the Indian hockey team and the state has never been considered the sport’s nursery, it has contributed to the New Zealand hockey team at the ongoing World Cup.
Panchia siblings, Arun (29) and Jerad (25), are of Gujarati ancestry and are part of the New Zealand team.
They were also part of the silver medal-winning New Zealand team at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
“Every time we get an opportunity to represent New Zealand in the international arena we feel honoured. The current form of the team is good and we had a good training before coming here, so we are hoping for a good result in Bhubaneswar,” says Arun, who has also captained the side and is a veteran of 256 internationals.
“We are in hockey because of our mother. She used to play hockey at school level and motivated all the kids to take up the sport. It (hockey) is very much an integral part of the day-to-day life of our entire family.”
The duo’s brother Daniel had played international hockey at junior level while sister Anjali is also involved with the sport.
The Panchias are the third generation of the family and were born and raised in New Zealand.
“Indians have an emotional attachment with the sport. It is quite popular with the Indian community in New Zealand too and now more and more youngsters of Indian origin are pursuing the sport,” says Jerad.
Have they ever been to their native place in Gujarat? “We haven’t been there, but our mother and sister are visiting next month,” say the brothers.
Panesar brothers in Canadian team
Canadian hockey is incomplete without Punjab-origin players and Panesar brothers, Balraj and Sukhi, are key members of the team. The duo had represented Canada at the Goal Coast Commonwealth Games earlier this year.
Panesars hail from Ludhiana in Punjab and are the first generation, born and raised in their adopted country.
Other siblings in the World Cup
Apart from Panesar and Panchia, there are four other sets of brothers playing the World Cup. David Harte and Conor Harte are part of the Irish team with David leading the side. The Malaysian side has Saari brothers, Fatri and Faizal, while Canada have another set of siblings — John Smythe and Iain Smythe — in their ranks. Germany has Grambusch brothers Mats and Tom.
First Published: Nov 29, 2018 17:17 IST