May 2010 Issue
Asia Cup 2008 (UK)
June 28, 2008
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images from the Asia Cup
England, led by Chris Hyde, had a convincing 9-4 win over India in the Asia Cup at Guards Polo Club in the UK on 28 June, This match, which was played as part of the Ganjam Jaipur Trophy Day and saw the visiting Indian team lead after the first chukka. However the home side got into their stride in the second and never looked back. They were 4-2 up at half-time and added a further four goals to their tally in the fourth and final chukka alone.
The Indian polo team led by Navjit Singh Sandhu toured England to play in the Asia Cup. On invitation from the Hurlingham Polo Association in the UK, the team consisted of Shamsheer Ali, Dhruvpal Godara, Simran Shergill, Vishal Chauhan and Hamza Ali, besides Sandhu, played the match at the Guards Polo Club. The Ganjam Jaipur Trophy was also be played the same day. The Asia Cup is a official England vs India polo match both in UK and Mumbai as part of the Celebrasian festival.
This was the second match of the day for the many visitors, including many guests who had flown in especially for the event as guests of Ganjam, India's oldest jewellers. The first match, which was a league game for the 12-goal Phoenician Cup, saw Grayshurst narrowly defeat Black Cats 9-8 and receive the Jaipur Trophy from the Maharaja, stepson of the Rajamata of Jaipur, and Umesh Ganjam, Managing Director of Ganjam.
Grayshurst dominated the early chukkas of the game and were leading 8-4 at the start of the fourth, but some great play from the Cats' Nacho Gonzalez had brought them back into the game and suddenly it looked like it would go into extra time. However an under the neck shot from Grayshurst patron, Martyn Ratcliffe assured his team of victory with just a minute left on the clock.
The event was also part of the international Celebrasian Festival, an annual Asian heritage festival. During a dinner held after the matches at Guards Polo Club, an auction raised funds for Mark Shand's elephant family charity. To inspire guests to support this good cause, several beautiful models of elephants, made from foliage, were dotted around the leading British polo club throughout the day.