The extravaganza begins with Argentina hosting South Africa at the Kalinga Stadium.
India is playing host to the 15th edition of the FIH Hockey World Cup, the schedule of which runs from January 13 to January 29. This will be the second consecutive World Cup being hosted by the subcontinental giants.
Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar and Birsa Munda international in Rourkela in the state of Odisha have been chosen to be the venue of the 16-team quadrennial event.
India, the hosts will be looking to end their 47-year trophy drought while defending champions Belgium would want to add to their tally. India have shown great consistency in recent years managing to win Bronze and Silver in the Tokyo Olympics and Birmingham CWG.
Among the other heavyweights, Australia, the most successful team in the history of the tournament will also be there. The kookaburras have secured 10 medals in the event, three of which are championships. Australia has been the nemesis of the hosts, with India managing just 10 wins in 65 matches since the turn of the millennium.
Fallen giants, Pakistan, who won the competition 4 times have not even qualified for this instalment after their dismal performance in 2018. Among the other notable absentees, China, Poland, Canada have also missed the ferry.
The state of Odisha has managed to complete the work on the venues increasing the capacity. Following the glittering opening ceremony at the Barabati stadium, the massive Birsa Munda and Kalinga Stadiums will be raring for the action. If manage to win the title and cement its rise to the summit of its national game, that will be final final icing on the cake.
Hockey World Cup Schedule of Day 1, January 13
Group A: Argentina 1-0 South Africa, Kalinga Stadium, 13:00 IST
Group A: Australia 8-0 France, Kalinga Stadium, 15:00 IST
Group D: England 5-0 Wales, Birsa Munda Stadium, 17:00 IST
Group D: India 2-0 Spain, Birsa Munda Stadium, 19:00 IST.
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