Bhubaneswar, March 24: The Indian men's hockey team will begin its FIH Hockey Pro League 2022/23 campaign against New Zealand and Spain as the International Hockey Federation (FIH) announced the schedule of the fourth edition of the tournament.
India will host New Zealand and Spain in the tournament opener between 28th October and 6th November later this year.
The Indian team will play New Zealand in the first match on 28th October, followed by the second match against Spain on 30th October. They will play their return leg matches against New Zealand and Spain on 4th and 6th October, respectively.
Both the visitors New Zealand and Spain will also play a double-header against each other on 29th October and 5th November.
Sharing his thoughts on the FIH Pro League 2022/23 schedule, the Indian men's Hockey Chief Coach Graham Reid stated, "Interesting to see the 22-23 Pro League schedule released today. As far as our draw is concerned, it is well spaced out and provides us with practice opportunity before the 2023 World Cup."
In March 2023, India will play Germany and Australia at home. They will face off against Germany on 10th March and after a day's break they will take on Australia in their first match of the two-legged tie. The second-leg matches against both Germany and Australia will be played on 13th and 15th March respectively. Germany and Australia too will play their FIH Pro League tie against each other in India.
In what appears to be an action-paced Olympic cycle, India will tour to Europe in May and June 2023 for their away matches against the teams like reigning Olympic Champions Belgium (26th May and 2nd June), Great Britain (27th May and 3rd June), Netherlands (7th and 10th June) and Argentina (8th and 11th June).
Reid opined that it's good development of utilising multiple teams in one location.
"FIH is using the experience of utilising multiple teams in one location from this year, to provide more of a traditional tournament feel. I think it's is a good development. This will also provide a different tactical preparation between games where traditionally the games against the same team are back to back," he said.
Source: Hockey India