6th May, 2018 | South Africa
Lions River Polo Club in the KZN Midlands hosted its first International Polo Tournament on Sunday, 6 May.
Team India featuring Gaurav Sahgal (4), Salim Azmi (3), Siddhant Sharma (3) and Col Ravi Rathore (5) locked horns with the South African Team featuring Tysen O’Sullivan (2), Michael Osborn (4), Martin Watson (2) and Tom De Bruin (7).
Team South Africa
1. Tysen O’Sullivan (2 goal)
Tysen is 22 years old and plays for the Karkloof Polo Club. He plays in the No 1 position and is fast into position and strong on the ball. He has represented SA Schools that same year when they toured Zimbabwe.
2. Michael Osborn (4 goal)
Mike is 39 years old and plays for the Lions River Polo Club. He grew up in the Kokstad area and played for the local Kokstad Club. He plays in the No 3 position. He has represented South Africa at the World Cup Play-Offs in Iran in 2017.
3. Martin Watson (2 goal)
Martin is 19 years old and plays for the Lions River Polo Club. He normally plays in the No 2 or 3 position and is a very hard hitter of the ball. He previously played for SA Schools in New Zealand in 2014 which their team won.
4. Tom De Bruin (7 goal) - Captain
Tom is 30 years old and was born in KwaZulu Natal. He has represented SA both at school and at senior level, having played polo professionally around the world. Some of the major tournaments he has participated in, are the Queens Cup, Gold Cup, Royal Windsor Cup.
1. Gaurav Sahgal (4 goal)
Gaurav is a young, up and coming polo player from India. He captained the Students University Polo Association Championship in the UK which his team won and he was also awarded MVP. He has represented India numerous times including in Barbados where his team won the tournament.
2. Salim Azmi (3 goal)
Salim started playing polo in 2002 and became professional in 2011. He has participated in most of the major tournaments in India and plays for the Sona Polo Team. He can play at any position and is a very disciplined and accomplished rider who works hard for his team.
3. Col Ravi Rathore (5 goal) - Captain
Ravi is the only Indian player to have achieved the rare feat of representing India for five successive World Cups from 2003 to 2017. He was also the captain of Indian Polo Team for the last two World Cups (2014-15 and 2017-18). He has represented India and the Indian Army in over 25 countries over the last two decades.
4. Siddhant Sharma (3 goal)
Siddhant is another young up and coming Indian polo player who represented India in the 2017 World Cup Zonal Playoffs in Iran and subsequently the Finals in Australia. He has played in all the major tournaments in India including the IPA Championship.
5. HH Sawai Padmanabh Singh (2 goal)
He represented India in the 2017 World Cup Zonal Playoffs in Iran and the Finals in Australia. He has played polo in England, Argentina, USA, Thailand, Italy, Switzerland, Colombia and the UAE.
Record Crowds were drawn to the Lions River on Sunday as the hosts South Africa took on a young Indian side in the inaugural International Polo match.
Mike Osborn was awarded the Man of the Match award. The Best Playing Pony Award was given to “Wyzoo” owned by Rory Bryden and ridden by Colonel Ravi Rathore as well as “Clyde” owned by Ben Crowe and ridden by Siddhant Sharma.
UNDERBERG 13-GOAL TOURNAMENT
The Indian team’s tour did not just end at the friendly match. The Indian players played for six different South African Teams in the highly competitive Underberg 13-goal tournament. The young Indian Players gained valuable experience as they played amongst the foreign players and linked with them superbly.
Uday Kalaan played for Halfway Toyota, Col Ravi Rathore played for Underberg Dairy, HH Sawai Padmanabh Singh played for Garden City Commercials, Salim Azmi played for Case IH, Siddhant Sharma played for Dekalb while Gaurav Sahgal played for GWK. All the Indian players performed brilliantly for their teams in the South African conditions.
Results of the matches are as follows -
Halfway Toyota vs Underberg Dairy
7-7 (Underberg won by Toss)
Garden City Commercials vs Case IH
Dekalb vs GWK
Case IH vs GWK
Garden City vs Underberg
Dekalb vs Halfway Toyota (Halfway Toyota won)
Underberg Dairy vs GWK
Dekalb vs Case IH
Garden City Commercials vs Halfway Toyota
"The Indian Team gained vital experience and played with the South African teams as one. Our highly talented youngsters enjoyed the high quality polo and played very well"
-Col. Ravi Rathore, Hony Secretary, Indian Polo Association