New Delhi, Sep 28 (FN Agency) With the schedule being announced by FIH for the much-awaited Hockey Men’s World Cup in Bhubaneswar-Rourkela 2023, skipper Manpreet Singh expressed excitement of starting their campaign in the heart of Odisha’s hockey belt. “Now that we know where we will begin our campaign and against whom, there is certainly a lot of excitement in the team. We have all experienced how electrifying the atmosphere can be in Bhubaneswar’s Kalinga Hockey Stadium and from what I have heard from my teammates who are from Sundergarh, the fans from this region are all looking to turn up in huge numbers for all the matches to be played in Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Rourkela. I can already feel the goosebumps thinking of the turnout for the opening game,” Manpreet said.
“It is the fans who make the experience of playing in Odisha doubly special and we are all eagerly awaiting to showcase our best in the World Cup,” he added. India is grouped in pool D along with England, Spain and Wales and the home team will begin their campaign in Rourkela where they will take on Spain in the first game on January 13, 2023. “It will be quite incredible to play in the newly built Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium which will be the biggest stadium in the country with more than 20,000 seating capacity. “We have been following the infrastructure development updates from that region and it is looking quite incredible.
We believe the practice stadium is already up and ready. It is all looking fantastic and we can’t wait to move our preparations to Rourkela,” Manpreet said. Indian team is currently on a week-long break till October 2, and they will return to SAI, Bengaluru for the National Camp ahead of the FIH Hockey Pro League matches against New Zealand and Spain to be played in Odisha. “It is great that we will get a chance to play against Spain now in the Pro League matches. It will give us an understanding of their game and what we need to improve upon before we meet them again in the first match of the World Cup in Rourkela,” Manpreet concluded.