India to face England in 2018 Women’s Hockey World Cup opener

Other participating nations in India’s pool are the U.S. and Ireland.

The Indian team is on the rise with confidence-boosting performances in the recent past, acknowledges coach Harendra Singh.   -  PTI

India has been placed alongside World No. 2 and host England in a tricky Pool B for the FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup to be held in London next year. Besides England, other participating nations in India’s pool are World No. 7 U.S.A. and minnow Ireland.

According to the schedule issued by the International Hockey Federation on Sunday, India will open its campaign against England on the first day of the event on July 21. India will next play Ireland on July 26 followed by its last pool encounter against U.S.A. on July 29 at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Read: 33 players chosen for national hockey camp

“We look forward to the challenge in Pool B. England and U.S.A. are ranked above us but the Indian women’s team is on the rise with confidence-boosting performances in the past few months. Every match at the World Cup is important and each match needs to be played like a final,” chief coach of the Indian women’s team Harendra Singh said.

‘Sights on Mission 2018’

“It will be crucial for us to have a good outing in the Commonwealth Games next year so we carry forward a winning momentum into the World Cup. We have set our sights on Mission 2018 and all our training will be focused on peaking at the prestigious tournament,” he added.

Read: India leaves out Sardar Singh from World Hockey League squad

Meanwhile in Pool A, World No. 1 and reigning world champion Netherlands awaits the challenge of Asian giants China and Korea, and rising European side Italy. World No. 3 Argentina is clubbed along side European rival Germany and Spain, besides African continental champion South Africa, in Pool C.

Pool D will feature Oceania rivals Australia and New Zealand besides Japan and Belgium.