In a major development, Pakistan and China have confirmed their participation in the 7th Asian Champions Trophy hockey tournament to be held at the SDAT-Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium here from August 3 to 12.
Confirming the news, J. Sekar Manoharan, president of the Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu (HUTN) told Sportstar here on Monday, “Since there were doubts expressed by the media on the two teams (China and Pakistan) participation, we are happy to inform that they have sent their confirmation.”
Manoharan further said HUTN has almost identified the venue for the practice turf. It will be a tennis court just adjacent to the entrance of the SDAT-Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium. A practice turf is a primary requirement if a city has to host a major International tournament. “The four tennis courts inside the Stadium were not used extensively, and we are glad to change them to practice turf. We are hoping to start the work in May,” he said. However, an SDAT official said that nothing is confirmed as of now, but Hockey India has taken the measurements.
Meanwhile, representatives from the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu, Hockey India and the Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu are visiting Rourkela and Bhubaneswar—venues that hosted quite a few Hockey World Cups-- to get an idea of what it takes to organise an International event.
Chennai will be the first Indian city to host the Asian Champions Trophy, which started in 2011 and a Hockey India committee is overseeing the preparations for the same.
In the recent past, Odisha has been the first-choice for international games in India. The State has hosted two World Cups — in 2018 and 2023 — and FIH Pro League games.
The competition will include six Asian nations — India, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, China and Pakistan.
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