Bhubaneswar, March 30: England Men's hockey team arrived in Bhubaneswar, Odisha on Tuesday (March 29) night for their double-header against the hosts India in the FIH Pro League 2021/22, scheduled to take place on April 2 and 3 at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium.
The English women's team was also supposed to arrive, but COVID 19 outbreak in the camp along with injuries forced the cancellation of their travel and eventually the postponement of the women's team fixtures.
Upon his arrival, England men's team head coach Zak Jones expressed excitement at the prospect of playing against India at the Kalinga Stadium.
"We are really excited and looking forward to playing at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium. Few of the guys have played here before and they know a bit of challenge because India are a good side at the moment," said Jones.
"I think we have got a lot of guys who haven't been here before, so yeah really excited to come out here and play at this stadium, and also get ready for the 2023 World Cup."
With two wins and two losses in four matches, England are currently in 7th position on the FIH Pro League 2021/22 points table. They started their Pro League campaign with wins against Spain, but lost both their matches against Argentina last month.
Reflecting on the team's Pro League performance so far, the England Coach said, "I think we have performed really well so far. We are sort of building game-to-game, and it's really important that we take that momentum and look to get as many results as possible in the Pro League."
Speaking about the team's preparedness ahead of the clash against India, England Captain Tom Sorsby stated, "We are quite a new team, so not necessarily in preparations for India, but this group has got some good experience in the Pro League recently.
"And, I think all the experience we get here will be valuable, especially between now and coming back here for the World Cup."
"India have been playing really well, they have got some great results. We know they are going to be a tough team to play against, but it's a challenge that we are really looking forward to taking on.
It's not often that you get to come out to play in India against the home team, so just looking forward to the challenge they are going to give us," Sorsby added.
India will clash against England on Saturday (April 2) and Sunday (April 3) with the matches starting at 7:30 PM IST on both the days. The matches will be live on Star Sports 2 SD & HD and streamed live on Disney+ Hotstar.
Source: Hockey India Release