It was March 15, 1975 when team India won their only World Cup title in Kuala Lumpur under the captaincy of Ajit Pal Singh. Since then, India never reached the semifinals of the tournament even though the country had hosted it two more times in 1982 (Bombay) and 2010 (New Delhi).
In a country where cricket is considered as a larger-than-life game, hockey lovers still have their feet on the ground, waiting and hoping for more from their own “National Game.”
We have been witnessing an increase in hockey fans and enthusiasts, and finally the trophy has arrived to the home turf. This time Hockey India are looking to end their long run of title drought after 43 years.
Here are the interesting things you need to know about the 14th edition of the hockey World Cup:
Event venue: All the matches will be played at Bhubaneswar’s Kalinga Stadium.
Number of teams participating: Altogether 16 countries will be playing in the tournament.
First match: Belgium VS Canada (Pool C) at 5 pm (IST).
Top rank team: Australia is current world No 1 with 1906 points.
Game format: It is the first hockey World Cup with four quarter rule.
The newbies: China will make their debut at the men’s World Cup.
A milestone: India’s vice captain Chinglensana Singh will play his 200th international when they take on South Africa in the opening match.
Brief history and trivia:
First host country: The first World Cup was due to be held in Pakistan, but political tensions, it was shifted to Barcelona, Spain.
Started as a decent tournament: The tournament was started as a 10-nation event in 1971.
Previous edition’s winner and runner-up: Australia beat Netherlands 6 – 1.
Most wins by a country: Pakistan is the most successful team with four wins to its name.
Nation qualified more times than others: India has qualified for the 14 times for the World Cup more than any other nation.
Where to get hockey feed and infos:
TV channel that will broadcast the event: People in India can watch the tournament on the Star Sports Network and Doordarshan.
Websites where you can stream live: YouTube channel of International Hockey Federation and Hotstar. For live updates, follow us on our social media pages.