Women Hockey World Cup: India to face England in opening match

New Delhi: Indian Women’s team, who were recently crowned Asia Cup Champions, will face world no. 2 England in Hockey Women’s World Cup in London next year.

India will face the hosts in their first match on the day one of the event.

In the schedule released by International Hockey Federation (FIH), Indian team is grouped with England, Ireland and USA in Pool B for the London World Cup which is scheduled to begin on July 21, 2018.

While in Pool A, the world number one side and current holders of the World Cup, Netherlands, await the challenge of Asian giants China and Korea as well as rising European stars Italy.

USA, who won the 2017 Hockey World League Semi-Final in Johannesburg and Ireland, also feature in Pool B.

“We look forward to the challenge in Pool B. England and USA are ranked above us but the Indian Women’s team is on the rise with confidence-boosting performances in the past few months. Every match at the World Cup is important and each match needs to be played like a Final,” stated Indian Women’s Team Chief Coach Harendra Singh.

“It will be crucial for us to have a good outing in the Commonwealth Games next year so we carry a winning momentum into the World Cup,” he added.

Argentina are ranked number three in the world, and they have European rivals Germany and Spain to contend with, along with African continental Champions South Africa in Pool C.

Pool D sees Oceania rivals Australia and New Zealand go head to head along with Japan and 2017 Rabobank EuroHockey Championship runners-up Belgium. (ANI)