The team will play its first match February 2022.
Indian men’s hockey team skipper Manpreet Singh expressed his team’s excitement over taking on New Zealand followed by Australia in away games when they begin their campaign in the FIH Hockey Pro League 2021-22. It will be India’s second outing in the prestigious global league.
The FIH announced the schedule for the 2021-22 season on Friday. This year’s edition of the home-and-away League will kick off on 6 October 2021 when reigning women’s World Champions Netherlands face-off against Belgium.
“With the FIH announcing the schedule for 2021-22 season, it gives us an opportunity to plan our preparations well in advance. Though right now our focus is on doing well in Tokyo this July and peaking at the right time to succeed at the Olympic Games, we now know what needs to be done in the second half of the year where we will need to prepare with an intent to do well against New Zealand and Australia in their home grounds,” stated Manpreet Singh.
“They (New Zealand and Australia) are always a very challenging team particularly at home and we are very excited about the prospects of starting our campaign against them.”
India who made their debut in the coveted home-and-away global league last year will take on New Zealand on 5 February 2022 in a double-header followed by matches against Australia on 12 & 13 February 2022. In the same month, India will also play Spain (on 26th & 27th Feb) followed by matches against Germany (12th and 13th Mar) and Argentina (19th & 20th Mar) in home games.
In April, the Indian team will take on England (on 2nd & 3rd Apr) at home followed by away games against Belgium (on 11th & 12th Jun) and Netherlands (18th & 19th Jun) in what appears to be an action-packed 2022.
The Indian men’s Hockey team coach Graham Reid said, “Great to see the fixtures released for the next season of the 2021-2022 Pro League. We look forward to once again playing against the best teams in the world after what will have been a challenging year for all concerned.”
“We will begin our assault on the title with a trip to New Zealand and Australia in February 2022. These matches are always tough against tough competitors in what can be often very warm conditions during that time of the year,” he concluded.