Rhinos roar for more success
Overwhelmed by their success in the Hockey India League, owners of winners Ranchi Rhinos feel the country will gain heavily from the new concept and will be a force to reckon with in the 2016 Olympics. ‘I have little doubt that India will be the team to watch out for in Rio 2016, all thanks to HIL,’ Ranchi Rhinos co-owner Saurav Dugar said, a few days after they won the inaugural HIL. Backed by a boisterous home support, the Rhinos bounced back to beat Delhi 2-1 in a thrilling summit clash at the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Ranchi on February 10. ‘The process has already begun. HIL’s roaring success would augur well for Indian hockey in the years to come,’ he said. The Rhinos may not have got the kind the reception last year’s IPL winners Kolkata Kolkata Knight Riders were acorded, but the city-based owners are not complaining. ‘The biggest recognition for us will come when India do well at International level. It will take some time but the journey has already begun,’ Dugar said. The Indians, be it the experienced out-of-form players or the rookies, have gained heavily having wielded the stick together with the likes of Jamie Dwyers and Moritz Fuerstes in the 28-day extravaganza. Many (Indians) lacked confidence initially but as the tournament progressed, they hit the purple patch,’ Dugar said, referring to youngster Mandeep Singh (Most Promising Player) and Delhi captain Sardar Singh (Player of the Tournament). Behind Ranchi’s success story was another young entrepreneur Diya Chauhan, another co-owner, who worked off the field 24x7 to bring up the team together. A team that had talented youngsters from the tribal belt of Jharkhand and other parts of the country along with Olympic double gold medallist in Moritz Fuerste among 20 foreigner.