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Jun 20, 2007 at 07:46am IST

Polo team geared up for WC playoffs

New Delhi: The Indian polo team leaves for New Zealand in a few days from now to take part in the World Cup playoffs.

The Indian polo team is all set for the Auckland playoffs, where they have been clubbed with South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Pakistan. If India win in New Zealand, they will play at the World Cup finals to be held in Mexico in September.

"We are all hard players, everyone is a hard player. We have got very talented players and all of them have played polo for many years now, and they are all experienced players. So I think through experience will also matter a lot," India's Jai Shergill says.

A fresh sponsorship deal with a leading finance company has boosted the spirits of the team.

"It gives you so much of financial and other backing to carry forward the Indian team to the World Cup qualifiers, which requires a lot of financial assistance. So they are giving a big support to Indian polo itself," another player Ravi Rathore says.

"We are happy to be sponsoring the national team. It was a unique opportunity to sponsor not a small team, but the Indian team which is going to the World Cup. So that's what made us come here and give the sponsorship to the Indian team," President of Indiabulls Ravi Rattan says.

India have had a good record in the playoffs so far. In 1995, India stood fifth and were awarded the 'Fair Play Award', while in 2001, the Indian team made it to the finals. Clearly, their morale is high ahead of the World Cup.

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