The tournament, organised by the Piccadily Group, was held in the national capital’s Jaipur Polo Ground on Sunday.

New Delhi: The Indri Indian Open polo championship concluded in Delhi on Sunday, with the Sahara Warriors bagging the winning title after scoring 10 goals against the Jindal Panthers, who scored five goals in a six-chukker match. The tournament, organised by the Piccadily Group, was held in the national capital’s Jaipur Polo Ground. The match was played in the presence of Chief Guest Venod Sharma, former Union Minister.
While speaking to The Sunday Guardian, Venod Sharma said, “It was an interesting match and both the teams played really well and as in sports the best team always wins. I am delighted to be a part of this fantastic game.”

The two teams
All smiles on the red carpet
Zorawar Kalra
With a bottle of Indri

Sahara Warriors crowned Champions
The exhibition match
Sahara Warriors in Action

Other eminent guests present on the ground were MP and eminent lawyer Vivek Tankha, Israeli Ambassador Naor Gilon, and Managing Director and founder of ITV Network, Kartikeya Sharma, among a host of other industrialists and polo fans present at the Jaipur Polo Ground.
The final match was inaugurated by Member of Parliament and notable lawyer, Vivek Tankha, by throwing the polo ball into the ground. Tankha also wished both the teams their best of luck before the match could begin.
Sahara Warriors won the Indian Open polo title for the fourth time, where its Capitan and Prince of Jaipur, Sawai Padmanabh Singh (Pacho, as he is known in polo circles) won the most valuable player of the match award, after he scored over five goals in the final match.
Apart from Pacho, another important player received a present from the match organisers. The nine-year-old Argentinian female horse “Rapper” was presented with a special memento for being the best goal scorer and the star of the horses by the organisers.

Swati Piramal with her husband
Vikramaditya Singh and Chitrangida
Kartikeya Sharma (2nd from righ) with guests
Sawai Padmanabh Singh of Jaipur with Kartikeya Sharma Founder Promoter of The Arena Polo League in India.
Members of the audience watching the game and mingling
Neelam Pratap Rudy (right)

The final match between the Jindal Panthers and the Sahara Warriors began at around 3 PM on Sunday, with the national anthem being played. The cool yet warm winter afternoon witnessed the Jaipur Polo ground filled with spectators and polo fans cheering for both teams. The match was a nail-biter in the first half when both teams were going head-to-head against each other.

The Winning team
Venod Sharma alongside Naveen Jindal
Sahara Warriors in action
Vivek Tankha at the event

After the first chukker, both teams had one goal each on the scoreboard, and the match went on a tightrope till the second chukker. After the second chukker, the Sahara Warriors pulled the match to its side, by scoring three goals, whereas the Jindal Panthers was restricted to three goals till then.
However, post this, the match almost went one sided, with Sahara Warriors exhibiting a fantastic game for themselves and restricting the Jindal Panthers to just five goals till the end of the sixth chukker, while the Sahara Warriors scored 10 goals in total in the game.
The Sahara Warriors was led by Sawai Padmanabh Singh (Pacho) along with his three other colleagues, Shamsheer Ali, Daniel Otamendi and Juan Cruz Losada. The Jindal Panthers on the other hand was led by Naveen Jindal himself and along with him, his three other teammates included J.P. Clarkin, Simran S. Shergill and Dirk Van Reenen.
Naveen Jindal, captain and founder of the Jindal Panthers team, told The Sunday Guardian, “This was an amazing game and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. The other team was an all-professional team. We started well, but then they took a lead, and we could not catch up. Sahara Warriors dominated the game since the beginning, and we are happy they won. They deserved to win today.”
Jindal also expressed his concerns over the poor ground conditions for Polo in India. He told The Sunday Guardian: “People are slowly taking interests in Polo. Polo in our country is world class, but the grounds are in very bad shape. We need more grounds, and world class grounds because one has to understand that when horses run on the ground it creates a depression and to rectify that it takes time and therefore if we have more grounds it helps in more and more people joining the game. But then again, I do understand the population of this country is huge and we have limited land.”
“Let us remember Polo has started from India and we need to give it more push. We need more young people to come and join us in this game. It is a dangerous game as well since people fall and can get badly injured. I must say that the Indian army has played a great role in this,” Jindal added.
Sawai Padmanabh Singh (Pacho), captain of Sahara Warriors complimented his opponent captain Naveen Jindal. He said, “Naveen Jindal has been supporting the sport for too long, he loves the sport, and he has played his heart out.”
Pacho, while commenting on the match, told The Sunday Guardian, “It was a great game today. Although a tough match, but, we pulled it off with my stellar teammates. The other three players in my team are thorough professionals and they supported me, and we won. The Jindal Panthers were also a good team, but our team’s effort, dedication and a strong system that we had put in place made us win today.”
Some of the other notable guests that were present in the match and spoke to the Sunday Guardian includes Ajay Piramal, notable industrialist. Speaking to The Sunday Guardian Ajay Piramal said, “It was a great to watch the match live from the ground after two years of Covid. It was one of the biggest championships of Indian polo. Both the teams played well. It is great that The Sahara warriors won, but it was unfortunate that the Jindal’s could not pull up and got restricted to just 5 goals, against 10 of the Shahara Warriors.”
While famous restaurateur Zorawar Kalra who was also present at the Jaipur Polo Ground and witnessed the finals, spoke to The Sunday Guardian. He said, “Despite the post Diwali pollution the weather remained fantastic. It was a great match, and it is great to be back on the Polo ground after a lull of two years.”
Apart from the final match, the Jaipur Polo Ground also witnessed an exhibition match before the finals began, where two teams, Indri and Aurika competed with each other. The Indri team won the exhibition match.
Sanjay Kapoor, famous polo player who was leading the Indri team, told The Sunday Guardian: “It was a lovely weather in Delhi, with winter slowly setting in. I really enjoyed the game today. We dominated in the game against Aurika. They were a thorough team, but we were able to pull off this victory. I thank the sponsor Indri for bringing in such lovely people and impetus to this Indian sporting event. Two weeks of Indian polo season are remaining, and I am sure such events would certainly bring more talent to the fore.”