Bollywood celebrities cheer for hockey ahead of World Cup

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Chandigarh, Feb 21 (ANI): Bollywood actors Suniel Shetty and Irfan Khan gathered to cheer hockey players at a charity match here in Chandigarh, the proceeds of which would go towards the promotion of the game.

Bollywood actor Suniel Shetty said, "Seeing the enthusiasm of the people here, we can say that hockey still has a place in the hearts of the people."

The actors believe that such attempts would go a long way in promoting the national sport of the country that has been overshadowed by cricket's popularity.

"The Sports Minister should see to the security of the players and should also see that not just one sport gets all the attention, other sports should get equal chance of prospering," said actor Irfan Khan.

The match was initially to be played by the national team, but it was put off owing to some differences of payments.

The local team later played the match.

The Hockey Championship is scheduled to start in New Delhi from February 28.

Security has been tightened for the Hockey World Cup following a threat issued by the al Qaeda guerrilla Ilyas Kashmiri.

Kashmiri, who commands the 313 Brigade, an operational arm of al Qaeda, specifically issued his warning to international players asking them not to participate in the '2010 Hockey World Cup'. (ANI)

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