June 25, 2011
India defeat Pakistan and remain unbeaten in the finals of the FIP Polo
World Cup - Zone D playoffs being played in Malaysia.
Click here for more images from the FIP Polo World Cup Zone D
India created polo history on Malaysian soil to land their first
ever international polo title outside their motherland with a
12-9 win over Pakistan in the Asian-Australasian-African
Championships final at the Royal Selangor Polo Club.
In the process, India also became the first country to lift the
new Malaysia Cup, a sterling silver cup that is engraved with a
bunga raya (hibiscus, Malaysia's national flower) motif -
commissioned by the Royal Malaysian Polo Association (RMPA).
The idea of a Malaysia Cup that would serve as an Asia-Pacific
Championship was mooted by RMPA president HRH Tengku Abdullah
Sultan Ahmad Shah, who is also the Crown Prince of Pahang.
There was more joy for India when Samir Suhag (Handicap 5) was
voted the Most Valuable Player (MVP). Samir was again in top
form in the final, scoring seven goals to take his personal
tally to 23 goals in the tournament.
India's other goals came through Simran Shergill (Handicap 4)
who scored a hat-trick and one each by Vishal Chauhan (2) and
Tarun Sirohi (3).
Pakistan's newcomer Temur Nadeem (2) was his team's top scorer
with five goals followed by Ahmed Tiwana (3) with two.
The win also meant India maintained their polo supremacy over
their rivals from the Indian sub-continent, having beaten
Pakistan 9-6 in the World Cup Qualifier in Jaipur in 2000 to
become champions and 13.5 - 11 in the 2007 Qualifier in New
Both teams took the field with an unbeaten record. Pakistan,
however, started the match with a two goal advantage due to
their 12 goal team against India's 14 goal team. It turned out
to be a thrilling final with some of the finest polo seen here.
Things did look bad for India when Pakistan scored twice in the
early minutes of the first chukka through Temur and Ahmed to
take a 4-0 lead before India pulled one back through Samir Suhag.
It was the goal India needed to get charged and they did it in
style in the second chukka to draw level at 4-4.
India took off from there as they grew in confidence while
Pakistan wilted. The champions moved confidently ahead to 6-4 in
the third chukka and 10-7 by the fifth chukka. Pakistan staged a
brief fight back at this stage and narrowed the gap to 10-9. But
that was all that Pakistan could do against the Indian who were
not ready to give go back as second best. The final whistle left
Pakistan players in tears while India celebrated.
"This win is history for us. We came here with a mission and we
did it in style. As I said this is the best polo team from India
in 20 years. This team has a bright future. Indian polo has come
of age and we will be heading to Argentina (for FIP Polo World
Cup Finals) in October with confidence," said India team manager
Vikram Singh Rathore.
"India had never won an international polo tournament. We look
towards this win as our stepping stone for better things to come
in future international tournaments. Winning here against a
world class line-up means Indian polo has a bright future."
Pakistan manager Abdul Qadir Mamdot said: "We had the chances
but failed to make it count. India deserves to win. They were
the better side."