New Delhi: The launch of a much-hyped professional league on the lines of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the rise and fall of colts, an overhaul of the coaching set-up and women overshadowing their male counterparts -- 2013 was an eventful roller-coaster ride for Indian hockey.
On performance front, it was the junior women's team that stole the limelight by bagging a historic bronze medal in the World Cup held at Monchengladbach, Germany. The junior eves' historic medal, in fact, remained the most striking image of 2013 for Indian hockey. Led by Sushila Chanu, the girls won their first-ever World Cup medal by beating England in the third-place playoff via penalty shoot-out. (India lose to Korea in semis)
But for this, the on-field success of Indian hockey in 2013 was limited to the subcontinent. The senior eves also did well for themselves winning a bronze in the Asia Cup and a silver in the Asian Champions Trophy to make it a profitable year for Indian women's hockey. Just like the girls, the junior boys started the year on a promising note by clinching the Sultan of Johor Cup title in Malaysia, which gave India the self-belief that they can win the Junior World Cup at home. (India win Johor Cup)