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News for 05 February 2023

All the news for Sunday 5 February 2023

FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup South Africa 2023 - 5 February 2023
Pretoria, South Africa

All times GMT +2

5 Feb 2023 09:40     AUS v RSA (Pool B)     1 - 2  HT
5 Feb 2023 12:00     IRI v ARG (Pool B)    
5 Feb 2023 14:20     CZE v USA (Pool B)    
5 Feb 2023 16:40     NED v NAM (Pool A)    
5 Feb 2023 19:00     AUT v NZL (Pool A)    
5 Feb 2023 21:20     BEL v KAZ (Pool A)        

Pool standings


5 Feb 2023 08:30     AUT v RSA (Pool A)     3 - 2
5 Feb 2023 10:50     AUS v USA (Pool A)    
5 Feb 2023 13:10     NED v NZL (Pool A)    
5 Feb 2023 15:30     NAM v KAZ (Pool B)    
5 Feb 2023 17:50     UKR v CAN (Pool B)    

Pool standings

FIH Match Centre

FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup South Africa 2023: What the teams have to say

Pretoria, South Africa: With just 1 day to go for the FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup South Africa 2023, the players and coaches of the men's and women's teams have spoken to express their expectations.

Austria and The Netherlands eye success at FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup

By Geoff Berkeley

Austria celebrate winning the Men's FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup in 2018 ©Getty Images

South Africa is set to stage the International Hockey Federation Indoor Hockey World Cup with Austria and The Netherlands favourites to claim the respective men's and women's crowns.

Pyjama queen Jess aims for top eight at Indoor Hockey World Cup in Pretoria

David Isaacson

SA women's team captain Jess O' Connor, with her men's counterpart Jethro Eustice on the right, listens to a question during a press conference at the Heartfelt Arena in Pretoria this week. Image: SUPPLIED

South Africa women’s indoor hockey captain Jess O’Connor works in the sleepwear industry, but you won’t find her napping on the court where her job is shutting down opposition attacks.

Did the Indian hockey team have realistic expectations, for the Odisha FIH World Cup, 2023?

Tejinder Singh Aujla
The real level of Indian hockey and the desire of Indian hockey officials, players, and fans are appropriately depicted in the couplet of the writer, Surjit Pattar
It is like the difference between day and night. The difference between my desires and my capacities.
India’s performance at the recently concluded Odisha FIH world cup 2023, broke Indian hearts. By winning the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games, Indians began dreaming of returning to the golden age of Indian hockey, when winning the Olympics was routine. Were these realistic expectations?
In reality, at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, the hard work of the Indian officials and players, in addition to the similar luck as the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games team had, when the majority of the top teams had boycotted, provided India to win its eighth Olympic gold medals.  At the 2022 Tokyo Olympic Games, the majority of teams were ill-prepared due to covid restrictions. On the other hand, India prepared itself with long camps and prepared itself very well.
Comparative analysis
One might have observed the performance of Germany and the Netherlands at the 2020 Olympic Games when compared to the recently concluded world cup. There was a big difference. These two European powerhouses were well-prepared. And subsequently won the gold and bronze medals respectively.
India’s bronze medal win at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, gave Indian officials and players, a false sense of expectations and confidence. Furthermore, these inflated ambitions encouraged India to daydream and to win the gold at this world cup.
What is the reality?
In reality, we – India – were and are of 5th to 6th rank team as usual. This is a different story, whereas the FIH ranking system concerned. As India was ranked as a third-ranking team. In fact, to date, we – India - are falling way short of the elite group of the first four, as is quite evident that our team is not even in a position to dictate terms to the inferior-ranking teams, instead in some crucial games we struggle to hold them. For example, our match against the lowly ranked Wales team, who had made their first appearance at this World Cup. Frankly, this Indian team has a long way to go, when they can be consistently ranked as in the class of a podium finish team.
The Hockey India think tank should evaluate accurately where the Indian team stands at present, based on their current form and the ability to be tactically creative. In reality, when we compare India to the top teams, especially Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Australia, the teams which grabbed the top four spots respectively, at the recently concluded World Cup, there is a big gap evident. And yes, it also depends on the way one likes to see the present situation.
My Opinion
In my humble opinion, our boys gave more than a hundred percent of their capability. They are at the level at which they are performing and finishing on the table. We can’t expect them to win gold. With extraordinary luck and chances, anything can happen.
In the world cup 2023, we entered our team with an aim of improving the Olympic standing. This put huge pressure on the players and officials. Our inflated objective of the world cup resulted in us not even playing our normal game. Our team took every game as they were superior to other teams, the pressure of going to improve the bronze medal speaks volumes.

The future of Hockey team

The resignation of the coach Graham Reid is not positive news for Hockey India. During the coming months, it is not going to be a walk in the rose garden for the Indian team. As just in case, if they don’t win the Asian Games gold medal, their chances to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, will be in jeopardy, and in a way extremely hard. As India will be performing under pressure, and India is not known as a team, where they can perform in the peak performance zone under pressure, in a must-win situation. We can imagine the 2012 Chile Olympic qualifier, where India failed to win the series against Great Britain. Thus, the doors for the Olympic Games were closed for the first time. In both the scenarios mentioned above, India will be competing with the extra burden of a mountainous load of pressure, much more than the recently concluded World Cup. In this situation, giving the team to a new coach is absolutely not a wise step, and that too when he was giving excellent performance. He is absolutely not culpable for the desired performance of team India in the World Cup. Our boys gave their best performance, and what they were capable of. We are – our true present form – of what we played in recent tournaments. We are a 5th or 6th-ranked team. If the Hockey India think tank is thinking of changing the coach, with the given talent of the present squad the team will finish on the podium, I think that’s mere daydreaming. Not only this, but if we watch closely the talent, body shapes, fitness, and basic skills of the elite four teams, sorry to say that we are falling quite short. Having said this, no doubt there are some athletes, who are demonstrating world-class hockey. But the overall package, even the next junior pool who are on the doorsteps of the senior team, is of the same level as the previous lot. The desire or aim of Hockey India, to become a reckoning force in the hockey world with the present talent, seems quite far. This cycle of players is about to exhaust and unfortunately even the next cycle not looking promising either. So, it seems that we have to wait for a while to see the glorious Indian hockey, days again.
Hockey India’s gift to the world hockey (FIH)

Off the field, lately, Hockey India has been doing awesome to manage not only Hockey India but World Hockey also. Thanks to Mr. Batra and his able team behind the scenes.
Is the sun setting for Hockey India?

It seems that the Batra era of Hockey India is almost over. The person who revolutionized Indian hockey, same as was done by Ashwini Kumar of India and Brigadier Atif of Pakistan, during the 1960s – early 1970s, and from the 1970s to early 1980s, respectively. Apart from giving a big boost to World Hockey, He is the person who managed to make India the highest investor and rope in the sponsors. The present hockey culture in India, as well as in World Hockey, has been contributed by Mr. Batra. It seems the respective controlling boards of the world of cricket and the world of hockey contributed a lot to running these sports in the world. In both these sports, if India walked away, the situation of these sports won’t be the same.
Here were some of my candid views, as I see the situation. In conclusion, Hockey India has its work cut out. The newly elected Hockey India President Dilip Tirkey has a big responsibility on his young shoulders. It is yet to be seen, how effectively, he will be able to carry on the legacy Mr. Batra has left behind. Will he be, able to successfully carry the Hockey India flag with flying colors or not? Time will tell.   
Tejinder Singh AUJLA, has a burning desire and passion to see Hockey India performing consistently at its best. As he learned and played hockey at its highest level in India, during his teens and early 20s. He had attended various National Junior and Senior national squad/team camps. He was very close to making it. Before signing a lucrative contract with a hockey club in Europe. This is where he got his hockey enlightenment while understanding the philosophy and the styles of play of these two continents – former and present rulers of the game. This also resulted in him becoming a shrewd observer and a student of the game. He also coached the Canadian Junior National team, around 2010, and this is the era when both his sons, Sunny and Kabir donned national team colors.

Hockey Australia announces latest Hall of Fame inductees

Two members of the Hockeyroos golden generation, a trio of exceptional players to represent the Kookaburras and two highly decorated umpires are the newest additions to the Hockey Australia Hall of Fame.

Sharon Buchanan receives highest Hockey Australia honour

Hockey Australia has bestowed its highest individual honour on former Hockeyroo Sharon Buchanan OAM who becomes the latest ‘Legend’ of Australian hockey.

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