The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Harbhajan, Sachin take 'bets' on PHL
- Little Master backs Maratha Warriors, off-spinner for Sher-e-Jalandhar

Jalandhar: For a change, Sachin Tendulkar and Harbhajan Singh would be rooting for different teams as they have taken a bet on their favourite side winning the inaugural Premier Hockey League.

While Tendulkar has put his stakes on Maratha Warriors, the off-spinner is backing Sher-e-Jalandhar for winning the high-profile tournament beginning in Hyderabad on Janaury 13.

'Sachin and I have placed a bet as he expects Maratha Warriors to win the tournament while I think it would be Sher-e-Jalandhar which will clinch the title,' Harbhajan told reporters Thursday.

Asked what was at stake in the bet, the bowler said in a lighter vein, 'I will take Sachin's Ferrari if I win the bet'.

Harbahajan was all praise for his favourite team which he said reflected the true spirit of Punjabis.

'The team represents the youth and passion of Punjab. The Sher epitomises the strength of the human spirit ' fearless and lionhearted ' as the people of Punjab are and I am sure they will exude their passion and aggression in the field, the way I love to,' said Harbhajan wishing the team the very best.

Gagan Ajit Singh, skipper of the team, said he was confident of his players putting up a good show.

'Although we will miss penalty corner specialist Jugraj Singh, who is yet to regain full fitness following a road accident, we expect to perform well,' the Punjab Police forward said.

Gagan, who was upbeat and enthusiastic about the team said, 'with a team composition that boasts of players like Baljit Singh Dhillon, Deepak Thakur and Prabhjot Singh, we are unstoppable and unbeatable. My team of Shers is all ready to go and we will roar in the tournament and my boys have been working hard for this historic tournament.'

Each game will have four quarters of 17 minutes and 30 second each, instead of the two halves. New concepts of time-outs have also been introduced in order to liven up the game.

The winner within the stipulated time will get three points for each victory while the team winning in extra time will share the points at the ratio of 2:1. (PTI)

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