The PSB outfit, of course, are riding high, after winning the 6th Hockey India-organised Senior Nationals (B Division) in Saifai, Etawah, Uttar Pradesh. The bank men outduelled Chandigarh 4-3 in a penalty shootout after both teams were locked 1-1 in regulation time.
The PSB side may not probably match teams like Indian Oil Corporation, BPCL, Railways, ONGC and Air India in terms of boasting off too many internationals in their ranks, but they do have a nice blend of talented internationals and domestic talent to do the job for them.
Punjab and Sind Bank features Indian striker Ramandeep Singh, goalkeeper Harjot Singh, fullback Harbir Singh besides Satbir Singh besides some other former internationals – the most prominent being Sarvanjit Singh – who never played for India after being dropped after the disastrous 2012 London Olympic campaign.
“Punjab and Sind Bank has a good team in place. Under coach Rajinder Singhji, PSB has done well. We won a tight final against Chandigarh to win the Senior Nationals (B Division). We had an easy win against Delhi in the semifinal but the final was a tough game for us – this made it four title wins for us in the last eight months or so,” says Sarvanjit Singh, who has played a part in all their wins.
Punjab and Sind Bank won the 120th Beighton Cup Hockey Tournament in Kolkata in October last year, pipping IOC 5-3 in the final after both teams were tied 1-1 in regulation time.
PSB subsequently won the 45th S.N. Vohra’s All-India Gurmit Memorial Hockey Tournament in Chandigarh in November last year, downing Punjab Police 4-0 in the final. The bank men completed a hat-trick of title wins, clinching the 52nd Nehru Senior Hockey Tournament in Delhi in the same month, beating Punjab National Bank 2-1 in the final.
And the Senior Nationals triumph in Saifai was brought one thing to the fore - Punjab and Sind Bank has clearly stolen a march over much-fancied sides like IOC, Air India and BPCL.