India set to battle with top teams in Asian Champions Trophy

The fifth edition of the 10-day biennial event will be one of the first big-ticket hockey events to be played in the vibrant capital city of Muscat.

Placed fifth in the latest world rankings, India is the No. 1 ranked team among the competing nations in the Asian Champions Trophy   -  AFP

Defending champion India will battle it out with top contenders, including Asian Games gold medallists Japan, Pakistan, Malaysia and Korea in the Hero Asian Champions Trophy to be held here from October 18.

Placed fifth in the latest world rankings, India is the No. 1 ranked team among the competing nations, while Japan is ranked No.16.

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World No.12 Malaysia, World No.13 Pakistan, World No. 14 Korea and a highly inspired Oman round up an exciting mix that promises a fiercely competitive tournament.

The fifth edition of the 10-day biennial event will be one of the first big-ticket hockey events to be played in the vibrant capital city of Muscat.

Introduced in 2011, with the first edition played in Ordos, China, the Asian Champions Trophy is a marquee competition in the Asian Hockey Federation’s calendar.

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The inaugural edition was clinched by India while Pakistan won the title twice in 2012 and 2013 before India lifted the title again in 2016 in Kuantan, Malaysia.

“The AHF is pleased to announce that the Trophy unveiling for the prestigious event will be held on October 16 in Muscat. I expect the competition to be fierce and engaging for the global audience,” AHF president Prince Abdullah Ahmad Shah said.

He further thanked Hero MotoCorp for its continued support as the lead partner of Asian Hockey Federation.

“We are once again grateful to have Hero MotoCorp, one of India’s most successful business house and an organisation that has shown extraordinary support for the sport over a number of years, as title sponsors for the 5th edition of Asian Champions Trophy.”