England faced with booking a double passage to India
INDIA continue to dominate the FIH’s thoughts with the announcement that the city of Bhubabeswar will play host to two major men’s events – the 2017 World League finals and the 2018 World Cup.
The city is in India’s east, has major cultural and reli- gious significance and is the capital of the state of Odisha.
Bobby Crutchley’s men – assuming they make it through the World League semi-finals they are hosting in June – will have to travel to the 2017 event, which is scheduled to run from December 1-10.
The World Cup the following year will take place in late November/early December, according to the International Hockey Fed- eration. It will feature 15 nations, plus the hosts, who will have come through the World League system to secure their places.
The venue is relatively new – built in 2010, it is the home turf of the Kalinga Lancers, the Hockey India League champions and is consequently a familiar place for England and Great Britain star Adam Dixon.
He played his trade for the Lancers this year, the only Briton among a squad of Indians, Australians and Germany’s star striker Moritz Fuerste.
The last event held in the city was the 2014 men’s Champions’ Trophy.
FIH President Dr Narinder Batra was unsurprisingly bullish. He said: “We encourage fans from across the world experience first-hand the rich culture and warm hospitality offered by this amazing part of the world.”
Players, coaches and spectators have had myriad chances to experience the culture and hospitality of Indian cities in recent years as the country has regularly been handed major events.
The FIH have launched their new Rules of Hockey app. The aim is to eventually replace the printed version. It is suitable for iOS or android smartphones, will be continually updated and is free.
Exotic: Bhubabeswar, the venue for the World Cup