India is among the possible champion teams of Hockey World Cup next year. However, the bronze winners of the Tokyo Olympics will face a tough test in the group stage. India won the World Cup only once.
The group format for the 2023 Hockey World Cup is done. India is in a tough group. India will play England, Spain and Wales in Group D.
India, who won bronze at the Tokyo Olympics, are now ranked fifth in the world. According to the rankings, India is the strongest team in Group D of the World Cup. However, the fancied Lions will have to contend with the mighty Spain. After becoming world champions in 1975, India never reached the semi-finals. Manpreeta finished sixth in the last World Cup.
The top team from each group will advance directly to the quarter-finals of the World Cup. There will also be opportunities ahead of the second and third teams in the group. The second and third placed team in each group will play the third and second placed team from the other group respectively. The winners of those four matches will qualify for the last eight.
Group ‘A’ consists of Commonwealth Games champions Australia, Argentina, France and South Africa. Group ‘B’ includes Belgium, Germany, South Korea and Japan. Group ‘C’ consists of Netherlands, New Zealand, Malaysia and Chile. Notably, Pakistan, the most successful of the competition, did not qualify for the 2023 Men’s Hockey World Cup. Pakistan has won the most four times world champion.
The competition will be held in Bhubaneswar from January 13 to January 29, 2023. Besides the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, the World Cup matches will be held at the Birsa Munda Stadium in Rourkela. With this, the World Cup of Hockey is going to be held in India for the fourth time. India also hosted the last Hockey World Cup in 2018.