Raipur: A brand new international hockey stadium with a blue artificial turf was inaugurated here today to celebrate the National Sports Day -- the 109th birth anniversary of the legendary Major Dhyan Chand.
The stadium, with a capacity of 4000 spectators, was inaugurated by the Speaker of Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly, Gauri Shankar Agarwal. Member of Parliament, Ramesh Bais, was also present on the occasion. This is the second International Hockey Stadium with a blue Astroturf inaugurated in the state after the International Hockey Stadium in Rajnandgaon.
The occasion also witnessed an exhibition match played between India 'A' and India 'B' teams. The players of the Commonwealth Games' silver-medal winning Indian men's team played this match in which the Sardar Singh led India 'A' outplayed Vikram Kanth led India 'B' 4-1.
India 'A' dominated both halves of the match. Forward Nikkin Thimmaiah managed to beat the rival defenders and scored the first goal of the match in the 16th minute. However, India 'B' midfielder Harjeet Singh levelled the score 1-1 in the 20th minute through a field goal. In the 26th minute, Dharamvir Singh of India 'A' scored a goal and helped his team to lead the first half 2-1.
In the second half, India 'A' mid-fielders Chinglensana Singh Kangujam and Dharamvir Singh scored two goals each in 33rd and 44th minutes respectively to help their team win the match 4-1. It's a great way to celebrate the Wizard's birthday by playing an exhibition match, marking the inauguration of the International Hockey Stadium here today. This stadium will help to attract and motivate more youngsters to come forward and make a future in this game," said Sardar.