Four Nation Hamburg Masters hockey tournament begins from July 25
Big-time hockey returns to Hamburg as the prestigious 18th Four Nations Hamburg Masters hockey tournament gets underway from July 25.
The four-day event will feature hosts and current world number one Germany, Olympic silver medallists Netherlands, 4th-ranked England and 15th-ranked Ireland.
Germany, fresh from winning the Hockey World League Round 3 crown in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, will be looking to add another title to their trophy cabinet.
However, the black-and-white brigade, the defending champions, and who have won this tournament eleven times, will be missing their regular captain and fullback Max Muller, who will be undergoing an operation on his Achilles tendon and is expected to be out of action for the remainder of 2013.
England will also seek their preparations for the 2014 World Cup for which they had qualified from the Johor Bahru event.
Twice champions Netherlands will eyeing a decent showing in the event following mixed results against Belgium in their two recent games.
The Dutch won the first game 7-2 but lost the second 0-3 in the second tie.
Ireland, who are one of the improved teams in the world, will be keen to put up a good showing before the TriFinance European Championships – which is their last chance to book their berth in the 2014 World Cup.
The Four Nations Hamburg Masters hockey tournament was first held in 1989.
The tournament was held every year since 1996 and always featured four teams save for the inaugural edition which had five teams.
India had won the 2003 edition, which featured Germany, Spain and Argentina.
India last played in the 2010 edition where they finished last among four teams with Germany, Japan and Netherlands finishing ahead of them.
At the 2010 edition, India were held to a 4-4 draw by Japan with the latter scoring a final minute goal. India lost 3-5 to Germany and 3-6 to the Netherlands.
India earlier participated in the1996, 1997 and 1998 editions respectively and finished last each time.