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 third episode of the ‘Chennai Chronicles Series’, we sat down with former India centre forward Shivendra Singh, who has joined as Coach of the Indian Men’s Team.
Shivendra was part of the Indian Team that lifted the 2007 Men’s Asia Cup Trophy in Chennai, where the Indian Team won 7-2 against South Korea. Sharing his thoughts about playing in Chennai, the former centre forward said, “Over the years, we have good experience of playing in Chennai. During the 2007 Men’s Hockey Asia Cup, we lifted the trophy. I remember the crowd support was fantastic and the stadium was full, not just even inside but outside the stadium as well. All these memories are still fresh in my mind. The fans in Chennai are very passionate about hockey and they fully support the game with all their heart. I am sure that the team is going to love the atmosphere in the stadium once they are on the field.”
Shivendra also talked about the mood in the Indian camp ahead of the Hero Asian Champions Trophy Chennai 2023. He said, “The spirit in the team is high. They are all motivated and ready to play in the tournament. We are going to take every match seriously. We are taking nothing for granted. We have to be at our best to lift that coveted trophy.”
Shivendra, who scored two field goals in an exciting match against Pakistan in the 2010 Commonwealth Games, Delhi which India won 7-4 and won the silver medal will be now returning to Chennai as part of the Coaching Staff of the Indian Men’s Team. He said, “After 16 years, international hockey is coming back to Chennai. As a player, the feeling is different but when you become part of the coaching staff, the roles and responsibilities become different. I want to experience that feeling now from the other side.”
Talking about his trademark signature of saluting the fans after scoring, Shivendra said, “Our final in the 2007 Men’s Hockey Asia Cup was against South Korea. In most of the matches, I used to open the scoring for the team. Even in the final, I opened the scoring and afterwards, I did my trademark signature of saluting the fans (which was not famous at that time) after scoring the first goal, I remember that the crowd absolutely loved it and it is still there in my mind like it happened only yesterday.”
Please see below the social media links for Chennai Chronicles:
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.