The anticipation is palpable as the Indian men’s hockey team gears up to kick off their journey in the Asian Hockey 5s World Cup Qualifier. Their inaugural match will see them locking horns with Bangladesh in the picturesque locale of Salalah, Oman, on Tuesday.

India finds itself in the Elite Pool, sharing company with formidable contenders such as Malaysia, Pakistan, Japan, Oman, and Bangladesh. Simultaneously, the Challengers Pool plays host to teams like Hong Kong China, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, and Iran.

Following their faceoff with Bangladesh, the Indian team’s path will lead them to encounters with Oman and Pakistan on August 30. Subsequently, they will square off against Malaysia and Japan on August 31—a series of battles that will test their mettle on the international stage.

The stakes are high, with India vying for a coveted spot in the 2024 FIH Hockey 5s World Cup. Securing a position within the top three becomes imperative for this qualification. As the excitement mounts, it’s worth noting that a total of 16 nations will converge to compete in the global event slated for the coming year.

Mandeep Mor, the captain of Team India, accentuated the significance of this competition. He eloquently conveyed, “Every player’s ultimate aspiration is to don the nation’s colors at the World Cup. This tournament holds immense importance for us, as we aim to clinch a direct qualification for the 2024 FIH Hockey 5s World Cup. The prospect of showcasing our prowess on the grandest stage fuels our determination.”

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With the spirit of competition ablaze, India’s hockey stars prepare to etch their legacy on the canvas of the sporting world. The journey is rife with challenges, aspirations, and the collective pursuit of a common dream—the glory of representing their nation at the pinnacle of the sport.