Muscat: Preparations have began for the annual Independence Day of India Hockey Festival with the organisers finalising the date of this year’s eagerly looked forward to event.
The dates and other details were finalised during a meeting held under the patronage of Indian Ambassador Indramani Pandey and Organising Committee members SAS Naqvi and Belu Kuttappa.
The 2017 Festival will take place on August 11.
According to the organisers, Indian Ambassador Indramani Pandey will be the chief guest on the occasion.
Dr. Hammad Hamed Al Ghafri, Advisor of Ministry of Civil Services and former chairman of Oman Olympic Committee, and Talib Khamis Al Wahaibi, the Oman Hockey Association (OHA) chief, will be the guests of honour.
The Friends of Naqvi and Team Coorg, under the patronage of Embassy of India, have been conducting hockey festivals to mark the Indian Republic Day, Independence Day and Dhyanchand Trophy since 2005.
Most of these events were graced former India stars, including Ashok Kumar, Dhyan Chand’s son, Mir Ranjan Negi and Dhanraj Pillay. This year the organisers are planning to invite Olympian Ali Saeed from Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh, India.
This year’s programme will include the Independence Day Cup and the Ambassador’s Cup.
The Independence Day Cup will be contested by Team Coorg Muscat, UTSC Muscat, Beatrice XI and Oman Veterans Team while the Coorg hockey team from Dubai have also confirmed their participation.
The Ambassador Cup will see Ambassador XI and Indian School Al Seeb in action.
There will also be a women’s event which will see Indian School Al Seeb and Indian School Al Mabella teams vying for Independence Day Cup for Women.