The 120th edition of one of the world’s oldest hockey tournament — the Beighton Cup — is scheduled to be played at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) ground Kolkata from Thursday.
A total of 24 teams are taking part in the event which will give away Rs. 2 lakhs to the champions and Rs 1 lakh to the runners-up. The best player of the tournament — which concludes on 11 October will pocket a purse of Rs.10,000. The qualifying round has already started.
The 24 teams include 11 outstation outfits which includes big guns like Indian Oil, Central Railways and Central Secretariat.
The matches will be played in a knock-out-cum-round robin league. In the preliminary stage the games will be played on a knock-out basis.,
However, from the quarter-finals, the five teams that qualify from the knockouts will be clubbed with three teams already seeded in the last eight stage (Indian Oil, National Bank, Army XI).
The quarter-finals will see the eight teams divided into two groups among which the first and second placed teams will play in the semis.
Former Olympic gold medallist Gurbux Singh told the media in Kolkata, “It is a tournament where Indian hockey legends like Leslie Claudius, Dhyan Chand have played and so it is very prestigious. I had played 24 Beighton cups and won 12. I hope the media and people will come forward to help the tournament be a success.”
As it is one of the oldest hockey tournament running till date, Bengal Hockey Association (BHA) vice-president Gopinath Ghosh also urged the media to support the game which has lost a bit of its lustre over the past few years.