The side led by ace goalkeeper Savita and Vice Captained by Navneet Kaur will begin their Tour in Cape Town on 16th January.
Riding high on confidence after their incredible outing in the FIH Women’s Nations Cup where they beat hosts Spain 1-0 to win the title and qualify for the FIH Hockey Pro League 2023-24 season, the Indian Women’s Hockey team led by Savita left for the seven-match South Africa Tour in the early hours of Saturday morning from the Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru.
The team is scheduled to play four matches against the home team starting January 16 in Cape Town and will take on World No.1 Netherlands in three matches starting January 23. Excited to gain exposure against quality sides like South Africa and the Netherlands, Savita said, “We are grateful to Hockey India for planning a good amount of exposure matches for us in the annual calendar, particularly in a year where we are focused on preparing well for the Asian Games and earning direct qualification for the Paris Olympics.”
“These matches against South Africa and the World No.1 side Netherlands will help us raise the level of our game and also at the same time identify the areas we are lacking in. We are well-prepared for this tour following a good two-week camp in Bangalore. The players are high on confidence after a good year of hockey in 2022 and we are looking forward to start the season on a good note,” added the Captain who also led the team to a historic Bronze Medal feat at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022.
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While they are focused on doing well in the tour, Vice Captain Navneet Kaur also stated that they will be following the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar-Rourkela quite closely. She said, “These are exciting times in our sport. There is so much buzz around the World Cup in India and surely, we will be glued to the screens to watch the matches despite the time difference.”
The Women’s Team also shared a heart-warming best wishes video message to their male counterparts who will be looking to end the 48-year-long wait for a medal at the marquee hockey extravaganza. “We have witnessed in camp at SAI, Bangalore how hard they have all worked for this moment and we truly wish them the best. They stand a great chance to finish on the podium this time,” Navneet concluded.
On January 16, 2023, India will take on South Africa in their first match of the Tour starting at 21:00 hours IST.
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