Gamechanger: Bridgestone World Series HockeyBridgestone World Series Hockey (WSH), played out in India during March and early April 2012, was run on an ambitious model with overseas players, city-based franchises and corporate and TV backing. Organised along the lines of Indian Premier League cricket, WSH was controversial from the start. It was branded as 'unsanctioned' by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) who did not recognise WSH's co-organisers the Indian Hockey Federation. As the dust settles, Deepak Sheth assess the impact of WSH.
Now that a highly successful tournament has been conducted and completed it behoves us to reflect back on how there is a monumental shift in the landscape of hockey that we all love. Philosophers have remarked it is ordinary people doing extraordinary things that drive the world. All the fans of Indian style hockey, appropriately termed “magic”by coaches the world over, should be thrilled.
The histrionics, the number of goals, the excellent commentary, the flawless execution of a stupendous task, in eight cities, 59 games, wall to wall primetime TV coverage, including cable channels even in USA, the stoking of parochial interest, as manifested by the throngs of crowds in cities like Mumbai, Pune, Bhopal, Bangalore, coming out to cheer their hometown team, as also their Indian expatriate brethren overseas, not even taking into account the eyeballs watching on TV, all over India as also Pakistan, Europe, Canada, Australia, US and many other countries, should warm the cockles of the heart of all hockey fans.