Bhubaneswar Buzz

India to meet Australia in World Series opener in Bhubaneswar, not cricket though, its World League Hockey

Hosts India will lock horns with current world champions Australia in the opening match of the Odisha Men’s Hockey World League (HWL) Final, which is to be held in Bhubaneswar’s Kalinga Stadium from December 1 to 10.

According to schedule announced by the International Hockey Federation (FIH), seven teams who qualified through the Hockey World League Semi-Finals and hosts India will go head-to-head to be crowned champions of season 3, which started back in April 2016.

Pool A is comprised of Olympic champions Argentina, European champions Netherlands, Olympic silver medallists Belgium and Spain.

Reigning World Cup and World League champions Australia will begin their title defence in Pool B as they take on Germany, hosts India and England.

After taking on Australia on December 1, India will face England on December 2 and Germany on December 4.

European rivals Germany and England get the event off to a flier before World League season 2 champions Australia go up against hosts India, who will be looking for a large home crowd to inspire them to success.

In what is being billed as ‘Super Saturday’, December 2 is set to be a thriller with some eagerly anticipated matchups scheduled.

A rerun of the 2016 Olympic gold medal match between Argentina and Belgium gets the day underway in a match that is bound to rekindle some fond memories from that special night in Rio just over a year ago.

India against England will round the day off in what will be one of the most anticipated matches for home fans as they take on one of their oldest rivals.

The Pool stages will run from December 1-5 and will be followed by the Quarter-Finals on December 6-7. Following that classification matches and Semi-Finals will take place over the next two days before the bronze medal match December 10.