The Women in Blue’s matches for the upcoming FIH Women’s Hockey World Cup were announced today.

The schedule for the upcoming FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup 2022 in Spain and Netherlands scheduled to begin from 1 July was announced by the International Hockey Federation today. The India Women’s Hockey Team will open their campaign against England on July 3rd  in the Pool B match. India will next face off against China on July 5th and New Zealand on July 7th. India Women’s Team halfback Sushila Chanu addressed the media at a virtual press conference and said that the order of the matches does not change how the team will be preparing for the tournament.

“It does not matter against which opponents we start our campaign. We are not afraid of which team we are facing first as our mentality and our mindset is to take each game as it comes and try and win every match,” Sushila Chanu said.

“We have faced China recently in Muscat, Oman, in the Women’s Hockey Asia Cup 2022, and in the FIH Hockey Pro League 2021/22. And so it will be an advantage for us. We will be playing the FIH Hockey Pro League 2021/22 matches against England next month. We had last played New Zealand in 2020. So we know about all these teams quite well and we know how we have to prepare for the upcoming challenges,” Sushila Chanu added.

India competed against the Spain Women’s Hockey Team at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar over the past weekend in a two-legged affair. While India won the first match 2-1, Spain won the second match 4-3. India forward Navneet Kaur also spoke on how the team has gained confidence in the past couple of years because of constantly facing higher-ranked opponents.

“Around 2-3 years ago, there used to be a concern in the team before facing stronger opponents. But now, there is no fear in our team and we feel we are ready to face every challenge. Even if an opponent scores the first goal, we know we have the capability and skills to get things back in our favour,” Navneet said.

“Our team has developed a fighting spirit over the past couple of years. This has worked really well for us,” she added.

India will next play a double-header against Germany in FIH Hockey Pro League 2021/22 on March 12th (Saturday) and March 13th (Sunday). On being asked about the preparation for the upcoming games, Navneet said: “We have faced off against Germany last year. So, we will definitely take a look back at videos of those matches to recognise what are our stronger areas, and what areas we have to improve upon when we face them again.”

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