New Delhi, 03 July (Hindustan Times). With just a month to go for the much-awaited Hero Asian Champions Trophy Chennai-2023, the preparations for the Indian men’s team are in full swing at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Hockey Stadium in Egmore, Chennai. The iconic stadium is undergoing a major renovation ahead of the tournament. The same stadium hosted the men’s Asia Cup in 2007, which was won by India.
A stadium with a capacity of over 8000 was built in 1995 in Egmore, Chennai. It is getting a brand new turf, which will be unveiled later this month. In addition to the main pitch, it now has a new half-court turf, which could host fast-paced five-a-side games in future.
The Tamil Nadu government is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the tournament meets international standards. Players’ dressing rooms, operational areas, rooms for match officials as well as floodlights are being redesigned to meet FIH standards.
Expressing happiness over the return of international hockey to Chennai after almost 16 years, Hockey India President Padma Shri Dr. Dilip Tirkey said, “The return of hockey to Chennai brings back nostalgic memories. Incidentally, in 2007, I led the Indian team in the Asia Cup 2007. Beating South Korea 7-2 in the final was a memorable journey for us. It was raining during the final and yet people stayed to cheer us.”
He expressed his gratitude to the Government of Tamil Nadu for their enthusiasm and support in hosting this prestigious event. Expressing gratitude for the support of the Tamil Nadu government, he said that Tamil Nadu Sports Minister Udhayanidhi Stalin has been very proactive and has taken keen interest in developing the infrastructure for this tournament. Hockey India is also making a conscious effort domestically to organize international events in various states. So that the infrastructure of hockey gets a facelift.
Hockey India treasurer Shekhar J Manoharan appreciated the government’s support. He said, “The Mayor Radhakrishnan Hockey Stadium has hosted several hockey tournaments in the past, but it was important to ensure that the facilities were fit to hold a major international tournament. The Government of Tamil Nadu is indeed making every effort to give a facelift to this iconic stadium. With the Hockey India officials having tremendous experience in hosting international events, we got the right inputs into the stadium upgrade work and we are happy to see the results. The Government of Tamil Nadu along with Hockey India look forward to welcoming the participating teams and fans.”