India will host four major international hockey events in the next four years, including the 2016 men's junior World Cup and the 2018 men's senior World Cup.
According to the 2015-2018 tournament cycle unveiled by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) on Friday, India will also play host to the 2015 and 2017 editions of men's Hockey World League Finals to be held in the months of December.
But the most-prized event that India has been awarded was the 2018 senior men's World Cup. It will be the second time in a span of eight years the country will be hosting the mega event having successfully organised the previous edition three years ago.
The 2018 edition will see an expanded field with 16 teams competing in both men's and women's events.
The 2018 women's World Cup will be held in England. The women's tournament is scheduled to take place from Junly 7-21, with the men's event planned for December 1-16.
India last hosted the World Cup in New Delhi in 2010 while the next edition will be held next year in The Hague, Netherlands in the first two weeks of June.
If that was not enough, the FIH also awarded the 2016 junior World Cup to India. As a matter of fact, the country will also be holding this year's junior World Cup from December 6-15 at the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium here.
"The International Hockey Federation (FIH) is delighted to announce that England and India will host the Hockey World Cups in 2018. England Hockey were successful in their bid to host the women's showpiece, with Hockey India winning the race to host the men's equivalent," world body FIH said in a statement late last night.
The announcements were made by FIH President Leandro Negre at a special ceremony in Lausanne, Switzerland. "I wish to offer my sincere congratulations to England Hockey and Hockey India on their successful bids to host the Hockey World Cups 2018," said Negre.
"The quality of both bids was truly extraordinary, and the FIH is looking forward to bringing its top properties to England and India. The standard wasÂ exceptionally high, making the decision extremely hard for the FIH Executive Board."
Held every four years, the World Cup brings together the world's greatest teams and most skilful players for the toughest, most competitive international hockey event.
Both the men's and women's Hockey World Cups 2018 will feature an increased 16-nation field of participants, confirming the growing interest and development of the sport.
Next year's hugely anticipated Rabobank Hockey World Cup, which takes place in The Hague, Netherlands during the first two weeks of June, will see 12 men's and 12 women's teams competing.
"The decision certainly was not an easy one to make," said FIH Chief Executive Officer Kelly Fairweather, reflecting on the bidding process.
"All of the bids that we received were exceptional, being completely in line with our strategy to deliver the most entertaining, exciting and inspiring hockey events in the world.
"The FIH Executive Board were hugely impressed by the bids from England Hockey and Hockey India, and are convinced that both National Associations will deliver absolutely magnificent tournaments."
As part of the bidding process, the FIH requested that bid questionnaires were submitted before a deadline of 31 August.
The second phase of the process saw each bid evaluated in detail, as well as further discussions, clarifications, site visits and negotiations taking place with the respective National Associations.
The World Cup hosts' announcement is part of FIH's new event assignment process, which was launched and presented to the National Associations at the FIH Congress in November 2012.
The re-structured bidding process was designed to ensure that the majority of the unallocated events for the 2015-2018 period would be assigned before the end of this year. The FIH will make an announcement about the host nations of these events in due course.
Among other major FIH tournaments in the next four years, Argentina will host two events in 2015, with the men's Hockey World League Semi-Final and the women's Hockey World League Final while Belgium will be the location for a superb joint men's and women's World League Semi-Finals tournament.
The men's World League Final will take place in India from December 5-13.
In 2016, the elite men's and women's Champions Trophy events have been awarded to Argentina and England respectively, while India has won the rights to host the men's Junior World Cup.
The Hockey World League will dominate the 2017 calendar, with the Semi-Final and Final events taking place in Belgium, Argentina, England and India.
2018 will also see Argentina playing host to the women's Champions Trophy and the joint men's and women's Indoor World Cup.
"We were really pleased with the bids received and I am delighted that we have been able to set the calendar for the next four years," said Fairweather.
"We are greatly looking forward to bringing our fantastic events to all of these nations over the years ahead."