Club Cup to set off a busy schedule
Defending champions Abahani take on Police AC while another powerhouse Mohammedan SC face off with Ajax SC when the season's curtain-raising hockey tournament, the Dhaka Bank Club Cup, sets off on Sunday at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium.
The tournament is estimated to have a budget of around 3.4 lakh taka out of which 3 lakh will be provided by sponsors Dhaka Bank. The rest of the amount will be borne by the Bangladesh Hockey Federation (BHF), it was announced at a press conference at the conference room of BHF with federation president Khandaker Jamiluddin in the chair.
Anvir Adil Khan, secretary of BHF and Niaz Mohammad Khan, deputy managing director of Dhaka Bank were also present on the occasion. Niaz Mohammad Khan handed over the cheque of Tk 3 lakh to Jamiluddin at the end of the press conference.
Jamiluddin thanked the sponsors for sticking with hockey through thick and thin. He also claimed that after a year in the doldrums the hockey arena would be abuzz this year with tournaments starting with the Club Cup. The Club Cup will be followed by the national league, youth hockey, women's hockey, Asian Games qualifiers and tribal hockey competition.
The two-week long Club Cup will stage the final on the 12th of April which will be followed by the hockey league that starts on the 15th of April.
Current champions Abahani and runners-up Sonali Bank were pitted in two different groups while the others were chosen through lottery which placed two giants Abahani and Mohammedan in the same group.
Group A comprises Abahani, Mohammedan, Mariners, Ajax SC and Bangladesh Police while Group B consists of last year's Sonali Bank, Usha Krira Chakra, Wari Club and Sadharan Bima after Azad Sporting Club and Bangladesh Boys skipped the preparatory tournament of the Premier Division League.