Lucknow: Preparation were in the last stage for the men's Junior World Cup hockey tournament to be played in the city of nawabs from December 8.The...
Lucknow: Preparation were in the last stage for the men's Junior World Cup hockey tournament to be played in the city of nawabs from December 8.
The Indian team, who are the Asian champions, would be reaching in the city on November 22 and they will hold a camp at the Sports college. An exhibition match would also be played between India-A and India-B teams where Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav would be the chief guest. However, other teams including India's arch rival Pakistan would be arriving on December 4. While the first match of India would be against Canada, the last match on the opening day, the Pakistan on the other hand will also play the last match on second day against bitter rival Netherlands.
The reigning champions Germany would also reach Lucknow on December four and they will take on Spain on their opening match on the inaugural day.
Officials here today said that all the 16 teams would have to report in Lucknow by December 5.
Meanwhile, the UP government which has signed a MoU with the Fédération Internationale de Hockey(FIH) for sponsoring this tournament, would complete the works at the Guru Govind Singh AstroTurf in Dhyan Chand stadium by next week while Mr Yadav could inaugurate the new AstroTurf being laid at the Vijayantkhand stadium in Gomti Nagar area for this international tournament in the last week of this month.
On the other hand all the hotels have been booked for the event when around 500 players, officials and association members would be present during the 11 day long tourney.
Besides hosts India, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, England, Germany, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Egypt, New Zealand, Pakistani, South Africa and Spain will be seen in action in this world cup.
The matches will be shown live in over 100 countries.
The pool stages will take place between December 8-12 before the classification matches begin on December 14.
The medal matches will then be held on Sunday December 18, with the bronze medal match at 16:45 and the final taking place at 1900 hrs.
During the pool matches there would be three to six matches daily.
The Indian Junior squad is in Pool D slotted with England, South Africa and Canada.
India will then face off against England and South Africa in their second and third pool matches on December 10 and December 12, respectively.
However, India's biggest challenge will come from defending champions Germany, perennial contenders Australia and dark horses Argentina.
With a total of only one rest day on December 13 for the tournament, fans will be treated to 10 days of high-speed, action packed hockey as the world's rising stars battle it out to in what will be one of the most competitive hockey events of the year.