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Skippers confident on eve of PHL

January 11, 2005 16:39 IST

Putting behind the criticism by Indian Hockey Federation chief K P S Gill, Gagan Ajit Singh and Dhanraj Pillay will play in the Premier Hockey League, beginning in Hyderabad on January 13.

While Gagan Ajit refused to comment on Gill's remarks, Maratha Warriors skipper Viren Rasquinha confirmed that Dhanraj would turn out for his team.

Unveiling the trophy in Hyderabad on Tuesday, the skippers of the five teams -- Dilip Tirkey (Hyderabad Sultans), Arjun Halappa (Bangalore Hi-Fliers), Ignace Tirkey (Chennai Veerans), Rasquinha (Maratha Warriors) and Gagan Ajit (Sher-e-Jallandar) were hopeful of the PHL giving the game a boost.

Gagan said his team would start as favourites as it has a good forward line. He, however, refused to comment on Gill's remarks about his attitude and game.

"What can I say about it?" was all he mumbled.

Rasquinha said his team has a mix of youth and experience and is looking forward to playing in the league.

Halappa expressed confidence about his Hi-Fliers matching up to any challenge while India skipper Dilip Tirkey said his Hyderabad Sultans will rely on support from the home crowd.

The PHL Trophy, made from Swarovski Crystals has been designed by Vibhor Sogani, who also designed the Samsung Trophy for the 2004 Indo-Pakistan series.

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