India to kick-start hockey event vs Pakistan at 2018 Commonwealth Games

Both India and Pakistan have been placed in Pool B with the contest in the 2018 Commonwealth Games scheduled for April 7.

By: Express Web Desk | Updated: December 5, 2017 9:08:30 am
India face Malaysia at the Asian Games in Dhaka Indian men’s hockey team are placed in Pool B at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. (File photo)

India will begin their campaign in the hockey event of the 2018 Commonwealth Games by facing arch-rivals Pakistan in what is slated to be an exciting start to the competition. The Commonwealth Games next year will be hosted by Gold Coast, Australia. Both teams have been placed in Pool B with the contest scheduled for April 7.

As per the schedule released by International Hockey Federation (FIH) on Tuesday, also placed in Pool B are England, Malaysia and Wales. It poses an easy challenge and yet a tricky one for the sixth-ranked Indian team. Last edition’s bronze medallists and EuroHockey Championships’ bronze medallists England could pose a real threat.

Pool A comprises of five-time champions and hosts Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and Scotland.

Indian mens team fixture list sees them take on Pakistan first (April 7) followed by Wales (April 8), Malaysia (April 10) and England (April 11). By the time India face Pakistan, they would have already hit the ground running with the game against Wales.

The women’s team are placed in Pool A which consists of reigning silver medallists England, South Africa, Malaysia and Wales. The other group includes the defending champions Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, Canada and Ghana.

Indian women’s team begin their campaign on the start of the tournament where they take on Wales on April 5. It will be followed by games against Malaysia (April 6), England (April 8) and South Africa (April 10).

In the men’s department, Australia will be the team to beat. In the five editions of the hockey event, all five have been won by Australia. Many teams – including the Asian Games gold medallists India – will be eager to end that run following host of personnel changes this past year.

Two teams from each pool in men’s and women’s groups will move on directly for the semi-finals while the rest go into the classification matches.

Commonwealth Games begin on April 4 at Gold Coast with the sporting events beginning a day after.

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