Current Affairs 9 April 2019 Digest 6: Graham Reid appointed new men’s hockey coach; Dream11 becomes first Indian gaming unicorn

Story 1- Australia’s Graham Reid appointed as chief coach of Indian men's hockey team

Hockey India on April 8, 2019 named Australia’s Graham Reid as the new chief coach of the Indian men's hockey team. The 54-year-old will join the team in Bengaluru shortly for the on-going National Camp at Sports Authority of India.

India had been without a head coach ever since Harendra Singh was sacked after the men's team exited the Hockey World Cup at home in the quarter-final following a 2-1 loss to the Netherlands.

Speaking on his new assignment, Reid said that it is an honour and a privilege to be appointed as Chief Coach of the Indian Men's hockey team. He stated that as an opposition coach, he has enjoyed watching first hand, the steady rise of the Indian team to one of the most exciting and threatening teams in world hockey.

Key Highlights

The senior national hockey team under interim coach, Hockey India High Performance Director David John and analytical coach Chris Ciriello, had recently finished runner-up at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.

Reid will be in charge of the team during their next international assignment, which is the tour to Australia in May 2019.

The post of the team’s head coach had been lying vacant for nearly three months. Reid’s name was finalised in a meeting between Hockey India and SAI officials.

He was picked over a number of candidates, including Jay Stacy another Australian and a three-time Olympic medalist.

Reid’s contract is expected to be till 2022 World Cup but like it has been done in the past, the NSF will review his performance after every tournament. Indian team’s qualification for next year’s Tokyo Olympics would perhaps be the Australian’s biggest test.

About Graham Reid

A veteran of 130 international matches, Reid was a member of the Australian hockey team that won the silver medal in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

He was also part of the Australian squad that won back-to-back Champions Trophy titles in 1984, 1985 and 1989, 1990.

With 130 international caps, Reid took to coaching the national team when he was appointed an assistant coach in 2009 for Australia.

Reid served as an assistant to the legendary Ric Charlesworth in the Australian team for five years.

During his tenure, he helped guide the Australian team to their fifth consecutive Champions Trophy title in 2012.

He was elevated as the head coach in 2014 where he contributed to Australian squad's reign as the world’s number one team.

Under his guidance, they won the World League Semi-Final in Antwerp and went on to win the World League Final in Raipur the same year.

He served in the position until 2016 Rio Olympics and quit after the team failed to finish on the podium.

Reid moved to the Netherlands in 2017 to serve as the head coach of Amsterdam Club which he was part of as a player in 1993 and 1994.

In his recent stint, he worked as the Assistant Coach for the Netherlands team who won the Silver Medal at the 2018 Men's World Cup.

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Story 2-India gets its first gaming unicorn

Dream11 has become the first Indian gaming company to be valued at over $1 billion. With this, it has entered India’s growing club of unicorns, or startups valued at over $1 billion.

The valuation of Dream11 Fantasy Pvt. Ltd., the startup’s parent, soared to just under $1.5 billion after a secondary stake purchase by Hong Kong-based Steadview Capital, according to sources. This comes about seven months after the Mumbai-based startup raised $100 million from China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd. at a valuation of $700 million.

Three of the startup’s early backers, Kalaari Capital, private equity firm Multiples Alternate Asset Management and hedge fund Think Investments, had previously sold a portion of their stakes in the decade-old company.

About Dream11

The firm, founded by Jain and Bhavit Sheth runs a fantasy league for cricket, kabaddi, football, among other sports, allowing users to create virtual teams and help them to organise matches based on statistical performance of players in the actual game.

The startup, which has around 60 million users on its platform currently, plans to end the year with 100 million users.

Past Challenges

The startup’s rise has come after various hurdles, particularly legal challenges, due to the fantasy gaming’s likeness to gambling, which is largely illegal in India.

The game’s legitimacy was challenged in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The court, however, ruled that fantasy gaming involves skill rather than chance.

As per filings made with the Registrar of Companies, the startup’s revenue and loss for the fiscal that ended on March 31, 2018 included Rs 228.4 crore and Rs 65 crore respectively.

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