The preparation for the 14thedition of the World Cup is in its final stages. With teams having announced their squads, they will soon be flying out to compete in the prestigious tournament. The 2018 edition of the World Cup is going to feature 16 teams from around the world, with 4 hailing from the continent of Asia. Hosts India as well as Pakistan, Malaysia and China are to take part starting the 28th of November. With everyone on their edge for the World Cup to begin, a lot of hype has been built up for all the right reasons. Pakistan and Malaysia have been placed in Pool D of the World Cup alongside World Number 6 Germany and World Number 4, the Netherlands. Meanwhile, India, are placed in Pool C, where they will face Belgium, Canada, and South Africa in their pool matches.
India is coming to the tournament in fine form as they recently were declared Joint Champions at the 5th edition of the Asian Champions Trophy in Muscat, Oman. The side consists of a balanced blend of experience as well as promising youngsters such as Manpreet Singh, Sreejesh and Dilpreet Singh, would be looking to bedazzle the world with their supreme hockey. India also claimed the Bronze medal at the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta Palembang and look a force to be reckoned with at this edition of the World Cup.
Pakistan, also crowned Champions alongside India at the Asian Champions Trophy Muscat 2018, are also going to the tournament with a great momentum. Their recent performances are reflective of their growing threat level against the best hockey sides and would be looking to add yet another World Cup to their trophy cabinet. Red hot players like Imran Butt, Umer Bhutta and others would be expected to raise their hand at the upcoming World Cup.
Another Asian Giant Malaysia would be looking to turn it up at the World Cup. With an unbelievable amount of talent and potential within the side, Malaysia would be banking on their spirit, competitiveness and are likely to take inspiration from their recent performances that have built up to the World Cup. They clinched the Silver Medal at the Asian Games after a spirited performance throughout the tournament and their 3rd place finish at the Asian Champions Trophy.
China, participating in their 1st ever men’s World Cup, would be taking the World Cup as a golden opportunity. The World Cup in Bhubaneswar provides the ideal platform for Team China to
India qualified for the World Cup as the host nation, meanwhile China, Malaysia, and Pakistan qualified via the 2016-17 FIH Hockey World League Semi-Finals. India was both the host and the continental champion, therefore, the quota for the World Cup slot was allocated to China for being the highest ranked side having not already qualified. India, Pakistan, and Malaysia within the Asian Games should heightened skills of hockey and were clinical and incredibly effective. This positive frame of mind for the Asian sides is likely to help in them in their quest for World Cup advancements. The World Cup will mark the 14th edition of its kind, and has everyone eagerly waiting for the 28th of November.