India: ‘Fans in Chennai are just as passionate as fans in Odisha,’ says Dilip Tirkey

~Hockey India’s Chennai Chronicles encapsulates the city’s zest towards hockey ahead of the Hero Asian Champions Trophy Chennai 2023~

New Delhi, 29th July 2023: There is palpable excitement among hockey fans as international hockey returns to Chennai after 16 long years, with the Hero Asian Champions Trophy Chennai 2023 set to begin on August 3rd at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Hockey Stadium in Egmore.

Adding to the excitement, Hockey India’s Chennai Chronicles Series revisits some of the city’s iconic matches, which have witnessed some mega rivalries unfold.

In the final episode of the ‘Chennai Chronicles Series’, we took a trip down memory lane with Hockey India President Padma Shri. Dr. Dilip Tirkey.

Dilip was instrumental in the Indian Team that lifted the 2007 Men’s Asia Cup Trophy in Chennai, where the hosts won 7-2 against South Korea in the Final. Talking about why Chennai was selected to host the Hero Asian Champions Trophy Chennai 2023, the former Skipper of over 400 international caps said, “When we used to play in Chennai, I remember that the city was known for organizing several domestic, national and international events. During the 2007 Men’s Hockey Asia Cup, when we lifted the trophy, it was a surreal feeling. The fans in Chennai love hockey and are extremely passionate about it.” 

“But for some reason, over the last few years there have been no international matches there. Now, we are again looking to organize tournaments in the states where hockey tournaments used to happen earlier, as to revive hockey there and where the fans will come in huge numbers. This will help us popularise the game going forward.”

Dilip went on to talk about his playing days in Chennai. The win in the 2007 Men’ Asia Cup Trophy and playing in front of the home crowd, encouraged the team’s reawakening at an international level. He said, “I remember on the day of the Final, it was raining very heavily but the fans didn’t leave the stadium. They were fully behind us, cheering and supporting us. I have always felt that fans in Chennai are just as passionate as fans in Odisha. The image of all those fans sitting there with their umbrellas is still fresh in my mind. I am excited that after 16 long years, the Indian Men’s Hockey Team is going to play at the same iconic venue.”

The former defender also talked about the significance of the Hero Asian Champions Trophy Chennai 2023 ahead of the all-important Hangzhou Asian Games scheduled later this year. He said, “The Asian Champions Trophy is a very important tournament in the AHF calendar. Everyone knows what is at stake here. I wish all the teams the very best, particularly the Indian team. I wish the players the best of luck and I hope they put up a fighting performance.”

Please see below the social media links for Chennai Chronicles:  



Facebook: https://fb.watch/m4vbjDkROV/?mibextid=Nif5oz 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/reel/CvReIC3tubh/?igshid=MzRlODBiNWFlZA==

Hero Men’s Asian Champions Trophy Chennai 2023 will be live on Star Sports and FanCode. It will also be live streamed on watch.hockey for viewing outside of India.

By Hockey India

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