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Tuesday, Dec 07, 2021
Outlook.com
sport: polo

Polo Sweaters In A Vicious Chukker

Why polo is lost for players and sponsors in a changing India

Polo Sweaters In A Vicious Chukker
P. Lashkari
Polo Sweaters In A Vicious Chukker
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Lost In The Dust

  • 1862: The Calcutta Polo Club, India’s first, is established
  • 1892: The Indian Polo Association was formed, with clubs as members
  • 1957: The zenith of Indian polo: India won the World Cup in France
  • 40 or fewer: The number of active polo players in the country now
  • 7: Number of polo grounds owned by the army: three in Jaipur and four in Delhi
  • 4: Number of private grounds

***

The horses snort and kick up divots as they chase the ball across the grass. One horse muscles out of the melee and gallops forward, his rider swinging his mallet high in the air. He thwacks the ball and it shoots through the goalposts. The audience erupts in excited shouts. They are at the Rajasthan Polo Club in Jaipur—the most important of India’s four independent polo clubs—where the polo season is now in full swing. But while the audience is enjoying the on-field rivalry, most have no idea that a behind-the-scenes tussle is cleaving Indian polo in two. India may well be the birthplace of the modern game of polo, but critics say the country has let the sport wither and nearly die.

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