Sneak Peek into Men's Hockey Champions Trophy 2014, Bhubhaneshwar
Orissa, once the hotbed of Indian Hockey, is all set to organize the 35th edition of Men’s hockey champions trophy from 6th Dec to 14th December 2014. One of the most coveted trophies in field hockey will witness the top 8 nations battle it out at the Kalinga stadium in Bhubaneshwar. The tournament, which was slated to be held in Delhi, was shifted to Orissa. India last hosted the event way back in 2005 and being the host nation, got a direct qualification this year.
The champions trophy was the brain-child of Pakistan's Air Marshal Nur Khan - former President of the Pakistan Hockey Federation. Founded in 1978, the competition started as an annual men’s tournament featuring top ranked nations playing in a round-robin format. Later on, in 1987 a biennial tournament for women was also added. Due to date congestion because of the introduction of the world hockey league, the men’s competition has also become a biennial event.
Despite having its roots in Asia, the competition has been dominated by non-Asian countries right from the start. In the men's format, the Australians, Germans and the Dutch have won the trophy thirteen, nine and eight times, respectively. Pakistan is the only champion from Asia, with three titles to its name including the first two in 1978 and 1980. In the women's format, both the Netherlands and Australia have won the trophy six times, while the Argentinian women have lifted the trophy five times.
Despite being the most successful hockey nation, the Champions Trophy has eluded India, with 3rd being the best position India could muster way back in 1982. In the last edition in Melbourne 2012, India finished a respectable fourth after being defeated by arch-rivals Pakistan.Nevertheless, things look different this year as India are riding high on confidence after their Asian games gold and recent test series win down under.
India as the host nation has been given a direct entry to the tournament. The 7 other teams have qualified based on their rankings and nomination from FIH executive board. If any of the current participating team backs out, that place will be awarded to next best finisher in the previous tournaments, the same applies to the teams nominated by the Executive Board.
The 8 participating teams have been divided into 2 pools, A and B.
|POOL A||POOL B|
The group stage will begin from 6th December.
All the quarter-final matches will be held on the 11th of the month with the winner of Pool A facing loser of Pool B.
The 2nd place in Pool A will face the 3rd ranked team in Pool B and the 3rd best team in pool A will face the 2nd positioned team in pool B.
The bottom ranked team from Pool A will face the Pool B topper.
The semi-finals are scheduled for the 13th and the final on the final day of the tournament, 14th December 2014.
|Australia vs England||6 December 2014||12:00|
|Belgium vs Pakistan||6 December 2014||14:00|
|Netherlands vs Argentina||6 December 2014||17:30|
|India vs Germany||6 December 2014||19:30|
|Belgium vs Australia||7 December 2014||12:00|
|England vs Pakistan||7 December 2014||14:00|
|Germany vs Netherlands||7 December 2014||17:30|
|India vs Argentina||7 December 2014||19:30|
|Argentina vs Germany||9 December 2014||12:00|
|England vs Belgium||9 December 2014||14:00|
|Australia vs Pakistan||9 December 2014||17:30|
|India vs Netherlands||9 December 2014||19:30|
- * The time is in Indian Standard Time(GMT +5:30)
With all the top ranked teams of the world locking horns with each other, this year’s champions trophy surely seems to be an exciting one. Fingers crossed, we get to see abundant goals and lots of action by the very best players in the world.