Maulana Bhasani Stadium is now the undeclared capital of Asian hockey. The top five hockey nations in Asia are practicing in the same stadium before and after. Crowds of curious people at the stadium gate. Hockey in the country seems to have a touch of new life. Dhaka’s Hockey Para is abuzz with the arrival message of Asia’s Top Hockey Tournament Champions Trophy.
India, Pakistan, South Korea and Japan have arrived. He was supposed to come to Malaysia today. They are scheduled to play their first match against Bangladesh on December 14 at 7 pm. But they withdrew from the tournament.
The entire team had to undergo compulsory quarantine as one of the players of the Malaysian team was caught in the corona. The tournament will be almost half over to reach Bangladesh after the quarantine phase. Due to this the team withdrew its name from the tournament. There are some changes in the schedule of the tournament. Bangladesh’s first match is now against India on 15 December. However, according to the schedule, the South Korea-India match will be played on December 14 at 3:30 pm.
The main attraction of the tournament will be the India-Pakistan match on December 16. When the final of the last Champions Trophy in Muscat in 2016 was abandoned due to heavy rain, India and Pakistan became the joint champions. In the previous five Champions Trophy, both the teams have won three times. Now it’s time to outdo each other. Arriving in Dhaka, both the teams said that their goal is to retain the title.
The task is difficult for Pakistan. This time they did not get a chance in the Tokyo Olympic Games. India, on the other hand, won bronze at the Tokyo Olympics after 41 years. That is why everyone considers India as the favorite in the tournament.
Seeing the perfect work and fitness of the sticks of the Indian players in the practice at Maulana Bhasani Stadium yesterday afternoon, it seems that they are in the best rhythm. The Olympic Games team has 8-9 players, the rest are new. Manpreet Singh, who led in Tokyo, is also the captain in Dhaka.
“This is our first out-of-country game after the Olympic Games,” co-captain Harmanpreet Singh told reporters after practice yesterday. We practiced in Bangalore. Of course, there is hope of becoming a champion here. ‘
This is the first time Pakistan has been playing outside the country. Siegfried Aikman, who is in charge of Japan at the Tokyo Olympics, has just been appointed as the new head coach. The 72-year-old gentleman from Holland looks like a Pakistani. After the practice with the team, he laughed and said, “I am the Dutch coach of Pakistan …”
In this tournament, of course, the role of Aikman in the Pakistan team will be the observer. “It’s only been five days since I became the coach of the Pakistan team,” he said of the team’s preparations. Our team is somewhat youthful. But there are also some experienced players. ‘ Aikman set foot on the ground of reality, ‘Look, India is now the third team in the world. We are 16th. So we have to accept the reality. We are playing after many days. Even then we want to play the final in Dhaka. ‘