Hockey: India to open Asian Champions Trophy campaign against China on Aug 3

Chennai, Jun 20 (PTI) The Indian men’s hockey team will open its Asian Champions Trophy campaign against China on day one of the tournament, to be played here from August 3 to 12.

Hosts India and China will face each other in the last match of the opening day of the tournament at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Hockey Stadium.

After China, India will play Japan on August 4. The hosts will then cross swords with Malaysia on August 6 followed by the game against Korea a day later, as per the schedule released by the Asian Hockey Federation on Tuesday.

India will then take on arch-rivals Pakistan in the final league stage match on August 9.

The six-team tournament will see South Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, Japan, China, and India battle it out for top honours. All the teams are part of one pool and the positions on the points table will be decided by a league system.

Defending champions South Korea will clash against Japan in the tournament opener.

The semifinals are scheduled for August 11 while the summit clash will take place on August 12.

The Indian men’s hockey team (2011, 2016 & 2018) and Pakistan (2012, 2013 & 2018) have both won three titles each, and are the most decorated nations in the history of the tournament.

“We are absolutely delighted to be hosting the Hero Asian Champions Trophy Chennai 2023 and announcing the schedule is a landmark day, as it sets the ball rolling for the tournament,” Hockey India President Dilip Tirkey said.

“While I would surely love to see the Indian Men’s Hockey Team come out on top, I am certain that all the nations will put their best foot forward and treat us with exceptional hockey during the tournament,” he added.

Asian Hockey Federation President Dato Fumio Ogura said, “This prestigious tournament promises to be an extraordinary celebration of hockey, showcasing the exceptional talent and unity of Asian hockey.

“Our vision for the Hero Asian Champions Trophy Chennai 2023 is to create an unforgettable experience for players, fans, and stakeholders alike.”