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Top teams for Murugappa Cup
April 12, 2005 16:45 IST
The top 12 teams of the country would vie for honours in the 82nd Murugappa MCC Hockey Tournament that begins in Chennai on Thursday.
Itªis the country's richest prize money (Grade-A) hockey event with the winner set to get Rs 1.30 lakhs and a glittering gold cup from this year.
A Vellayan, Director, External Affairs, Murugappa Group of Companies, increased the total prize money from Rs 1.25 lakhs to Rs 2.10 lakhs in response to a question at a press conference on Monday.
The Beighton Cup in Kolkata and the Aga Khan Gold Cup in Mumbai are the other two grade 'A' tournaments held in the country presenting cash prizes of Rs 1.25 lakhs and Rs one lakh respectively.
The Murugappa Group has been sponsoring the prestigious event for 43 years since 1962.
For this year's championship, all top teams, including defending champions IHF juniors, former winners, Indian Airlines, Air India and Indian Railways besides corporate and state teams make up the 12 teams in fray.
They are split into four groups and the top two finishers in each group progress to the last eight stage. The semi-finals will be played on April 23 and the final on April 24.
Vellayan said with a little more cooperation from the Indian Hockey Federation, the company was willing to sponsorthe professional league and even a four-nation tournament prior to the Champions Trophy in Deccember.
"Last year, we could not hold the event due to relaying of the turf. The flood light facility at the stadium is likely to be ready in a month's time," he said.
Rajiv Reddy, Organising Secretary of the event, said neutral umpires would officiate in the matches and that IHF had nominated six internationals for the purpose.