FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup: India to Take on South Africa

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FIH Men Hockey World Cup 2018 IND vs SA match highlights:

  • India will face South Africa on 28 November, Wednesday in the first match of the hockey world cup
  • The Pool C encounter will take place at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar
  • The match will begin at 7 pm IST and be aired on Star Sports 1, Hindi/HD
  • A glamorous opening ceremony held on Tuesday at the Kalinga Stadium threw open the tournament with Shahrukh Khan and Madhuri Dixit performing at the event. Salman Khan will take part in the second inaugural event to be held in Cuttack today.

FIH Men Hockey World Cup 2018 IND vs SA match highlights

The hockey fever has officially reached the country with the FIH Men Hockey World Cup set to kick-start from today in Bhubaneswar where host country India will take on South Africa in the tournament opener. The 14th edition of the world cup was officially declared open yesterday in a glitzy opening ceremony that saw the who’s who of India’s entertainment ceremony enthrall spectators.

Going ahead with FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup 2018 IND vs SA match highlights, the opening ceremony was a mesmerizing event that started with Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik declaring the World Cup open with all the 16 captains on stage. He was followed by memorable dance and music performances which included Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit’s ‘Earth-themed’ performance, a ballet that celebrated the tribal culture of India and a musical performance from, AR Rahman bringing an end to the ceremony for the 10,000 strong crowds present to witness the massive event.

The Kalinga Athletics Stadium was covered with lights as fireworks erupted in the sky, signaling that India’s arms are open to the quadrennial event and teams and spectators from around the world. The festivities are set to continue in the state with a second inaugural ceremony featuring Salman Khan among other celebrities set to take place at Cuttack today.

With an opening ceremony that has set the bar high for the main event, seeing such fanfare as never witnessed before in a global hockey tournament, India Vs South Africa will begin the main proceedings of the event on 28 November, Wednesday. Looking to win their first world cup title in 43 years, the Indian squad is raring to go and set right the unpleasant record of the host nation underperforming in the tournament.

FIH Men Hockey World Cup 2018 IND vs SA match

Having sweated it out at a 30-day national camp, the final 18 members Indian squad will be in high spirits as the Asian champions trophy holders look to get their tournament off to a flier in front of what promises to be a capacity home crowd. Having trashed Argentina in their only warm-up match leading to the tournament, the Indians have affirmed that they won’t back down from playing attacking hockey against any team.

Meanwhile, for South Africa, the tournament is an opportunity to register their best ever finish in the tournament. The World No.15 side, whose players pooled in money from their own pockets to play in the showpiece tournament will be looking to show their federation back home that South African hockey is on the right path of development.

South African coach Mark Hopkins spoke about the importance of the world cup for his side and emphasized that it was a pleasure playing India in the opening game of the tournament.

“The more hockey South Africa plays the better it is. But our challenge is to get the funding in place to allow us to compete in as many Test matches we possibly can,” Hopkins said on the eve of his side’s opener against hosts India.

“We are coming into the World Cup with players needing to pay from their own pocket. They paid to be part of the camps. Our challenge is to get the funding in place. We are lucky to have a few sponsors but the sponsorships we have don’t really cover the budget of the World Cup.

Make sure you tune into today’s match and support the Indian team in their quest to hockey glory. The match starts at 7 pm IST and will be aired on Star Sports1, Hindi/ HD. The match will also be available for live viewing on Hotstar as well as live TV platforms like Jio TV and Airtel TV.

India’s Squad:

PR Sreejesh, Krishna Bahadur Pathak, Harmanpreet Singh, Birendra Lakra, Varun Kumar, Kothajit Singh Khadangbam, Surender Kumar, Amit Rohidas, Manpreet Singh (C), Chinglensana Singh Kangujam, Nilakanta Sharma, Hardik Singh, Sumit, Akashdeep Singh, Mandeep Singh, Dilpreet Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay and Simranjeet Singh

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