Pakistan to visit India for 2018 Hockey World Cup

Pakistan to visit India for 2018 Hockey World Cup

The Pakistan Hockey team on Thursday announced that it will be travelling to India to play the Hockey World Cup 2018. Welcoming all, Naveen said, the association between Odisha and Hockey India will help widen the net for the game in India.

The State government of Odisha has chose to sponsor the Indian hockey team for the next five years.

Former champions Pakistan were the 13th team to qualify for the worldwide hockey federation (FIH) event after favourable results at the EuroHockey Championships, with their seventh place finish at the Hockey World League semi-final in London proving good enough. Odisha is also the host and title sponsor of the men's World Cup to be held later this year. This is a first where a state government will not just be promoting a sport within its boundaries but will support and nurture the Indian Hockey Teams. "This is Odisha's gift to the nation", Patnaik said.

Though no details of the deal were revealed, Odisha government unveiled a logo that will be on the jerseys donned by players of both teams.

Odisha is regarded as a cradle of hockey and has produced greats like Dilip Tirkey, Ignace Tirkey and Lazarus Barla in the past. Four players in the current team, Birendra Lakra, Amit Rohidas, Deepsan Tirkey and Namita Toppo, are also from Odisha.

This association with Hockey India is expected to build the brand image of Odisha which has emerged as an worldwide sporting destination.

India last hosted the Hockey World Cup in 2010 in which Pakistan played. The state is the title sponsor of first of its kind franchise, Kalinga Lancers and was the host city of Hockey World League in November 2017. Batra further requested Odisha Govt to set up a High performance center in Odisha, which is not there anywhere in India.

FIH president Batra called Bhubaneswar the sports capital of India.

At the function, Batra said that Bhubaneshwar has emerged as the new sports capital of India.

The 2018 World Cup, which will be played in Bhubaneshwar, will start on November 28 to December 16, and India will be looking forward to deliver a spectacular performance in their homeland.

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