Murugappa Gold Cup: ONGC to begin title defence against Central Secretariat

The 92nd edition of the MCC-Murugappa Gold Cup hockey tournament will feature 10 teams from across the country and will be played at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium in Chennai.

Defending champion ONGC will begin its campaign against Central Secretariat on September 8. (File Photo)   -  B. Jothi Ramalingam

The opening match of the 92nd MCC-Murugappa Gold Cup hockey tournament will see Chennai Hockey Association (CHA) locking horns with Indian Navy on September 6 at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium in Egmore.

Defending champion ONGC will begin its campaign against Central Secretariat on September 8.

The top two teams from each pool will qualify for the semifinals which will be played on September 15 while the final is set to be played on September 16.

Arun Murugappan, Managing Director of Parry Enterprises India Ltd, on Tuesday said, “The tournament has become a big event and a regular fixture in the hockey calendar of the country.

Our focus has been to keep the level of competition high and to constantly improve the player experience. We are happy to see the top teams from across the country and top players participate in this event, this is a standing testimony to its success.”

The tournament, however, will not feature any of the Indian players who were part of the Asian Games bronze-winning side recently.

The senior national players are expected to be in Bengaluru, preparing for the Asian Champions Trophy which is slated to be held in Oman between October 18 and 28.

A few players from the Junior World Cup winning squad of 2016 are expected to play along with a few who were part of the India’s developmental team that travelled to Perth last year.

“This year, in terms of players’ profile, is better than the previous edition,” said V. Baskaran, former Indian captain.

K. Dhananjaya Das, President of Madras Cricket Club (MCC) said: “The top two teams will win cash prizes of Rs. 5 lakh and Rs 2.5 lakh respectively. There will also be a cash prize of Rs. 10,000 and a high-end bicycle for the best forward, best midfielder, best goalkeeper or defender, the most promising player of the tournament and the man of the match in the finals.”

Keeping up with the tournament’s tradition, host MCC will play an exhibition match against The Hindu on September 5 to kick off the extravaganza.

Teams:

Pool A: Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC), Indian Railways, Indian Army XI, Central Secretariat Hockey Team, Mumbai Hockey Association (MHA)

Pool B: Bengaluru Hockey Association (BHA), Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOC), Punjab and Sind Bank, Indian Navy Hockey Team, Chennai Hockey Association