Eng­land faced with book­ing a dou­ble pas­sage to In­dia

The Hockey Paper - - NEWS - By Wil­liam Gray

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

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