the-south-asian Life & Times                       April-June 2011




 Editor's Note


 Cover Story

 Team India Readies
 for World Cup 2011

 India's Foursome

 Golden Age of Polo
 in India


 Rare & Royal Classics


 Dalip Singh Majithia
 - the First Landing
 in Nepal

 The First Aerial Shots
 of Mt. Everest

 Trivandrum's New


Travel Destination

 Jim's Jungle Retreat


 The Kalasha

 Lakshan Bibi


 Tiger-Sightings in

 Corbett Wildlife
 by Majid Hussain


 Somdev Devvarman

 By O P Dutta









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L-R: Maj Vishal Chauhan, Samir Suhag, Maj Ravi Rathore, Col Tarun Sirohi

- India’s Foursome for the World Cup 2011

The ninth FIP 14-goal World Polo Championship – also known popularly as the Polo World Cup - will be held in Argentina in October 2011. Held every three years, the best teams in the world compete for the coveted title. Chile is the current world champion, having won the 2008 World Polo Championship in Mexico after beating Brazil. The first edition of the championships was held in Argentina in 1987 – and after 24 years it is happening there again.

This year, the eight best teams from four geographic zones, together with teams of the host country Argentina and defending champions Chile, will play the preliminary matches at the Estancia Grande Polo Club in the picturesque San Luis province. The club will have four polo grounds plus stabling for a pool of around 300 ponies from which teams will draw their mounts. The competition will then move to the huge national polo stadium at Palermo in Buenos Aires.

But before the teams cross the oceans to this seductive South American country, there are Zone Qualifiers to be played! India will play the Zone D Tournament, which will be held in Malaysia at the Royal Pahang Polo Club, and the Royal Selangor Polo Club from 14th to 25th June. Seven other national teams - from Australia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Singapore, South Africa and the host country Malaysia – will also play Zone D matches. The top three will then proceed to the Estanda Grande Polo Club in San Luis, Argentina.

India won the World Championship at Deauville in France in 1957. There has been no world victory for India since. Almost 55 years on, as the Polo World Cup 2011 approaches, India’s hopes are on its young and promising players – Maj. Vishal Chauhan, Maj. Ravi Rathore, Samir Suhag, and Col. Tarun Sirohi. Samir, a professional, is the highest handicapped (+5) player in India. The other three players are from 61st Cavalry – the only active mounted regiment in the world - that has produced some of the best players in the country. The Indian national team is preparing for the Zone D Qualifiers to be hosted by Malaysia in June 2011. The team members are positive in spirit, determined and confident. They beat the visiting teams from South Africa and England earlier this year – and also lost to South Africa while playing on their home-ground. However, they have just returned from New Zealand, where they beat the host country on their turf - for the first time ever!

All four players grew up in army cantonments in various parts of the country and all, apart from Maj. Vishal Chauhan, got their first polo lessons from their dads, whom they admire.

SALT introduces its readers to Polo ‘Team India’.

Read the entire article in the print edition




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