Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Indian World Cup squad leaves for Netherlands

The Sardar Singh-led Indian senior men’s hockey team left for The Hague, Netherlands on Thursday morning to take part in the 2014 Rabobank World Cup beginning May 31. The 18-member squad took a 2:35 am flight and is expected to reach Netherlands on Thursday evening (Dutch local time).

The national team is coming off a gruelling preparatory camp at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi. The Terry Walsh-coached side will play two practice games before their opening World Cup tie against Belgium on May 31. India will play their first warm-up game against 12th ranked South Africa and then face 11th ranked Argentina in their second practice game. These two games will enable the team to fine-tune their preparations for the big-ticket event.

It may be noted that the team also undertook an exposure tour of the Netherlands, last month – they played five games – winning one, drawing one and losing three matches. India played against national sides of Belgium and Netherlands.

India had launched their Dutch tour with a thumping 7-0 win over Leiden Hockey Club before playing out a 3-3 draw with HGC. India lost to Belgium 1-2 in their third game before going down to the Netherlands 2-4 and 1-2 margins in their fourth and fifth warm-up games respectively.

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