Blank 2010 calender for women's hockey team

Updated: 07 December 2009 06:52 IST

The women's Hockey World Cup is barely nine months away but as of today no international match - home or away - is planned for the Indian team.

Blank 2010 calender for women's hockey team

New Delhi:

The women's Hockey World Cup is barely nine months away but as of today no international match - home or away - is planned for the Indian team as they gear up for the elite event.

The World Cup is scheduled for August 2010 in Argentina and will be followed by the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi two month later but the Indian team is yet to hear from Hockey India about the planning for the crucial year.

The team is presently preparing in a camp in Bhopal under coach M K Kaushik, who has demanded at least 24 international matches to prepare for the mega events.

Kaushik admitted that preparations will be incomplete without foreign tours.

"If we don't get chance to play foreign teams before the two major tournaments, naturally it will hamper our preparation. We can judge ourself by playing against strong teams only.

"I have requested Hockey India to arrange tours of USA, Canada, Argentina or South Korea before the World cup. I am waiting for their reply." Kaushik said.

India had qualified for the World Cup after reaching the final of Asia Cup this year.

Hockey India is focussed on conducting its own elctions as per the FIH ultimatum ahead of the men's World Cup in February.

On being asked about the women team's preparations, Hockey India chief A K Mattoo said they were planning foreign tour for the girls.

"Definitely team will have two foreign tours before World Cup. It is in the pipeline and we are in touch with some countries for that," he said.

Kaushik said getting international exposure was a must for India if the hosts have to do well at home in the Games.

"We won the gold in 2002 Manchester CWG and a silver in Melbourne after that. Naturally we will be among the strong contenders in Delhi CWG and would want to win the gold medal in front of our home crowd. But we have to match our opponents in terms of preparation for that.

"We have requested Hockey India to arrange at least 24 international matches before World cup. Apart from that we need a masseur for the girls. We have sent a letter and are waiting for their reply," the coach said.

India had finished a poor 11th in 2006 Madrid World Cup.

This year, the Indian team got to play just 24 international matches in three tournaments and had one South America tour.

In Janaury, they swept the four-Test series against Chile 3-0 and drew 1-1 with Argentina in a three-test series. There was no international match after that till June. India toured South Africa for a four-nation tournament in June where they lost their matches.

In the same month, India clinched the Champions Challenge tournament, defeating Belgium 6-3 in Kazan.

With this victory, India qualified for Champions Challenge I tournament which will take place in 2011 and the winner of that tournament will take part in the 2012 Champions Trophy.

Again there was no international match till November when India reached the final of Asia Cup in Bangkok.

They lost to China but reaching the final was enough to book a berth in the 2010 World Cup.

Topics : Hockey
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