Friday, July 20, 2012

Any excuse to play hockey...

By Dil Bahra
20th July 2012

   Wansbrough is a well known name in Australian hockey circles. Father Colin used to be the Australian manager and son David was a highly successful player for Australia. 
     What no one knew was that Colin Wansbrough played against the great Indian centre forward Balbir Singh.  This was only revealed when we ran our story  'Hockey at Royal Opera House' earlier this month.
    Our item  pointed up that Balbir is one of 16 great Olympians whose personal stories are featured as part of The Olympic Journey: The Story of the Games at the Royal Opera House in London's Covent Garden from Saturday 28 July until Sunday 12 August.
    Colin, now aged 76, was Vice President & Treasurer of the Australian Hockey Association from 1984 to 1993. He writes:
    "You may find this hard to believe, but I actually played against Balbir Singh in a practice match between my club Camberwell and India prior to the '56 Melbourne Olympics.
    I took the day off work, illegally, to play at Elsternwick Park, and they beat us 13-0. I was centre half, and Balbir led the Indian attack.
   He scored eight goals. The Indian goalkeeper played for us in second half. Balbir presented me with his stick after the game - how good was that ! . 
   That night the Camberwell team were the guests of the Indian team for dinner at the Olympic Village in Heidelberg -- my first very hot curry. Charlie Morley organised it, and Mike Craig, Ric Purser, Bill Horman, Ron Legg, Al C, etc all played.  
    The next day there was a photo of Balbir and I in a newspaper. I was unaware of,that  and got caught out as I was supposedly at my grandma's funeral"

Olympian pick-pockets..

Britain is in the grip of a pickpocketing epidemic as Eastern European gangs descend on London ahead of the Olympic Games.
A surge in sneak street thefts means more than 1,700 people fall victim every day – an increase of nearly a fifth in only two years, according to official crime  figures released yesterday.
At the same time, police warned that professional gangs from Romania, Lithuania and even South America who operate in capitals across Europe are heading to Britain, intent on cashing in on unwitting tourists at London 2012.

Only six for MHL Premier Division

THE Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) will start on Sept 1,  and the Premier Division would be limited to six teams as the  parent body look for quality matches.
    The MHL will only run for 40 days, with the final slated for  Oct 10. The format would be home-and away, while the semi- finals will be a two leg affair.
    These were some of the decisions taken by the Malaysian  Hockey Confederation (MHF) Technical Committee.
    “It would be a short league, as we have to accommodate the  Razak Cup, Sultan of Johor Cup and the Champions Challenge I as well,” said MHC secretary Johari Aziz.
    The Razak Cup would be held on Oct 14-23, followed by the  Sultan of Johor Cup on Nov 8-18 and then the Champions  Challenge I in Argentina on Nov 24-Dec 2.
    “National players, seniors and juniors, would be released  to play for their states in the Razak Cup after which they will  regroup for the Sultan of Johor Cup and the CC I,” said  Johari.
     The MHL will be a major change this year, with the TNB  Cup only for Premier Division teams, and there would be no  promotion for the Division One sides to play in the knock-out  overall stage.
    “This is because many teams, like Armed Forces and UiTM  do not want to play in the Premier Division after they received  a drubbing last season.
    “So, the TNB Cup will only be for Premier Division sides,  while another trophy would be made available for the  Division One Overall title,” said Johari.
    The Division One is expected to receive more than 10  entries, and so would be held on a league basis.
     Meanwhile, Yayasan Negri Sembilan will not compete in  the MHL this season, as Negri officials want to use the  RM500,000 to develop their grassroot leagues rather than  spend it in the Premier Division.