Easier as it may sound, sports commentary is tough and more so in a sport like Polo. A brief about Polo before I delve into our Sunday Polo shenanigans, at the Yes Bank Indian Masters Polo Championship Finals. The oldest of equestrian sports, Polo is a high risk game played on horsebacks by four-member teams on opposing sides, using wooden mallets to drive a wooden ball down a grass field and between two goal posts. Widely believed to have originated in Central Asia, Polo was first played in Persia. Initially, it began as a game used for training the cavalry units, usually the king’s guard or other elite troops. In time it became a sport of the nobility as well. 

Team Delhites in Black chasing Perry of team Achievers in Blue 
Though Polo was introduced in India, by the Muslim conquerors in the 13th century; it was the British tea planters of Assam, who formed the first European polo club in 1859 at Silchar. (where incidentally, I have been!)  Polo spread rapidly after a captain in the 10th Hussars, stationed in India saw a match and it didn’t take him long to form his own team!  British cavalry units stationed in India were known to organise and participate in Polo matches. 
Atop English-style saddles, with deep seats, players aim at securing goals. Front legs of the ponies are bandaged, to prevent injury, from just below the knee to the ankle. It’s mane is clipped and its tail braided to prevent interference with the player’s mallet. A game consists of six periods of 7 1/2 minutes each, called chukkersInterestingly, Polo horses are still called Polo ponies as has been termed  traditionally. Each player is given a position number and each has a specific task of defence, manouvering and attack etc. 

Uday Kalaan of Achievers was adjudged the “Most Valuable Player”, while “Calibriya” mare from the Delhiites Polo ridden by Samir Suhag was declared the “Best Polo Pony” of the match.    at the Yes Bank Indian Masters Polo Championship 
Sanjay Kapur, post the exhibition match 

Now at the championship, The Insider attended, the men on the field stole the show, along with one off it- the commentator,  who matched each shot of the player with a classic anecdote about Polo, descriptive and appreciative shout out, repartees galore with the fellow M.C and of course light hearted banter interspersed with serious warnings of wrongly parked cars!

Naveen Jindal -In the centre!

Not a goal of the players went unapplauded nor did the ‘just missed’ shots encouraged and appreciated! Clearly Perry of the winning team- Achievers was the star so was the rest of the team but don’t forget to look out for the voice behind the mike, next time you are in the capital during the Polo season! 

A Day well spent!
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