Masters Hockey

By M.H.Yakeem 
Road to Masters Hockey World Cup 2022 in Nottingham England from 12- 21 August
Sri-Lankan men’s over 35 and 40 teams left the Country on 9th August to take part in the second Masters World Cup Hockey tournament scheduled to be held from 12-21 August in Nottingham England.  The teams comprising of past national players have been preparing for the World Cup tournament for the last one year despite difficult conditions owing to the Covid 19 pandemic and economy crisis in the Country.
Sri-Lanka national Hockey team is currently ranked 34th in the World,  8th in the Asia and 4th in South Asia.  However,  the poor infrastructure with two unusable Astro turf artificial Hockey grounds and lack of sponsorship have deprived the Sport to be played at its best.
Sri-Lanka Hockey team has never played in a World Cup as other countries in Asia including India,  Pakistan and Japan,  who have been at the top of the game.  The Sri-Lanka Masters Hockey team initiated the move to participate in the Masters World Cup in 2018 in Barcelona Spain to give more exposure to the Veterans with an aim to give the younger generation for the betterment of the game.
In over 35 age category,  Sri-Lanka will play in group ” A ” which comprises of England,  Spain,  Ghana and South Africa,  while the Island nation over 40 team will play against the mighty Germany,  South Africa,  England,  France,  Wales  and Ireland.
This will be Sri-Lanka Masters second World Cup tournament in the history and in the first World Cup held in Barcelona Spain in 2018 , Sri- Lankan  Masters won against Denmark by 2-1 in a ranking competition , where we were placed 40th in the World .
This year,  the over 35 age group will play its first match against Spain, while the over 40 will play against Germany on the 12th.The over 35 team will be led by P. Heenatigala, a former national player , who have represented Police and Army in his career and the over 40 team will be led by Devan Chaminda Perera a double international ( Hockey and Soccer ). Duncan Devendra will accompany the team as the Manager and Ashok Peiris as Coach.
The Sri-Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau is the main sponsor of the World Cup participating teams,  while national carrier Sri-Lankan Airlines has come forward as the official airline partner and Nippon Paint Lanka ( Pvt ) Ltd., as the co- sponsor for the team. Also Sri-Lanka Masters Hockey teams will be thankful to the President,  Mr. Fouzul Hameed,  Senior Vice President Mr. Otto Preena,  Secretary Duncan Devendra , Dhammika Wijesundera,  Ananda De Silva and Ashok Peiris for playing a major role to make this tour a success.
The over 35 team
Prasanna Heenatigala ( Captain) , Sathiya Rasiah, Dananjaya Peiris,  Upul Fernando
( Vice- Captain), Pasan Mallawaarachchi, Thushara Manoj,  Roshan Thotagamuwa, Priyadarshan Kiridaran, Nicholas Anthony,  Sherwin Moral, Kaveendra Nanayakkara,  Suranjith Devamullage, Dinesh Jayakody, Joy Rasanayagam and Hasantha Jasinarachchi.
The over 40 team
D.C. Perera ( Captain), Kasun Herath,  Linus Jayasekeran, Diluka Weerasooriya, Yohan Lewke,  Sanjay Edgar, Shihar Aneez, Sampath Subasinghe,  Lushantha Perera,  Marlon Jacobs,  Mahesh Matiwala, Duncan Devendra,  Nadith Kudagama ( Vice- Captain), Ashok Peiris,  Anuradha Fernando and Deepike Kariyawasam.
Sri-Lanka Masters Hockey teams with the President of SLMHA, Senior Vice President of SLMHA, CEO and the Officials of Sri-Lankan Airlines,  Sponsor and the Co- Sponsor.