The FIH Hockey World Cup set to start on January 13 in Odisha will bring together the best hockey talents of the world in an exhibition of speed, skill and talent.
Here are five international stars to look out for in the tournament.
Having already won the world title twice -- in 2010 and 2014 -- Australia’s Eddie Ockenden is already in the category of all-time greats.
The 35-year-old Aussie co-captain is also his country’s record caps holder. Last year, he became just the seven players in the history of men’s hockey to have made more than 400 international appearances.
Ockenden made his senior debut in the 2006 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup and was awarded the FIH Young Player of the Year in 2008.
In addition to four Commonwealth Games gold medals, Ockenden has also bagged two bronze medals and a silver medal at the Olympic games.
Australia will be relying on Ockenden’s versatility and composure as it looks to reclaim its world crown.
France’s rising stock in world hockey has been aided by the rise of Timothee Clement.
The 22-year-old was crowned Best Player of the Tournament at the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup Bhubaneswar in 2021, where he captained France to a historic bronze medal.
A highlight of the campaign was the stunning hat-trick he scored against India in the opening fixture, which helped his side to a momentous 5-4 win.
His exploits, both in the junior and senior level, helped him on his way to being voted as the men’s FIH Rising Star of the Year for 2021-22.
German forward Christopher Ruhr is another two-time FIH Rising Star of the Year winner ready to take the World Cup by storm.
Germany’s hopes of winning its first world title since 2006 will rest heavily on Ruhr and his exploits up front.
The 29-year-old, who won bronze at the Rio games, has scored 64 games in 142 appearances for his national side.
Arthur Van Doren
Reigning World and Olympic champion Belgium has an array of stars in its fold, but none as bright as defender Arthur Van Doren.
Having made his debut in 2013, Van Doren’s rise mirrored his national side’s, as it became the most dominant force in world hockey.
In 2016, the 28-year-old won the FIH Rising Player of the year, a title he won again in 2017, alongside the Player of the year award. He won the Player of the year award again in 2018, to establish himself as one of the best hockey player of this generation.
Thierry Brinkman, who will lead the Netherlands in Odisha, is an inspirational figure upon whom coach Jeroen Delmee will be building his grand plans of reclaiming the World Cup.
The 27-year-old, who is capable enough to play across the forward line and in the midfield, began his international career in 2015.
Brinkman, who was part of the Dutch side in its final defeat to Belgium in the 2018 World Cup, will be looking to help his side to a record-equalling fourth title and first since 1998.
- Ashes 2023, 5th Test: England, trailing 1-2, names unchanged 14-member squad for The Oval
- Brazil forward Ary Borges scores first hat-trick of FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023
- We did not run away from trials: Vinesh, Bajrang issue clarification
- After the outburst, sanction on the cards for Harmanpreet
- IND vs WI 2nd Test Live Score, Day 5: India needs eight wickets for win; Match restart delayed again