The five-nation Hero Asian Champions Trophy 2021, the most prestigious and heavy weight Asian Hockey meet, begins on Tuesday (Dec 14)
at Maulana Bhashani National Stadium in the capital with all teams expressing their optimism to display their best.
This will be the 3rd biggest International Hockey tournament in Bangladesh after the successful holding of the Asia Cup Hockey in 1985 and 2017.
Four top seeded Asian countries — India, Korea, Japan, Pakistan — along with hosts Bangladesh will compete in the highly rated Asian meet, initially on league basis matches from Dec 14-19. Later, four top teams will play in the semifinals on December 21 and the 3rd place deciding match and the final will be held on Dec 22.
India will play Korea in the opening match on Tuesday (Jan 14) at 3:30 pm while Pakistan will play Japan at 6 pm in other two opening day fixtures.
Bangladesh will start their campaign taking on their giant neighbor India on Wednesday (Dec 15) at 3:30 pm while the titan battle between India and Pakistan will be held on Jan 17, also at pm 3:30 pm.
Meanwhile, all the four foreign teams — India, Korea, Japan and Pakistan — are already in the capital and the captains all the five teams, including hosts Bangladesh, were present at the day’s trophy unveiling ceremony and press conference at the Maulana Bhashani National Stadium.
Another foreign participant, Malaysia, withdrew their team from the meet at the last moment as one of their player tested positive for Covid-19 on the eve of their departure for Bangladesh.
Addressing the pressmen, all the captains expressed their full satisfaction over local arrangements, hospitality and facilities, and expressed their optimism to display their best to win the trophy.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh played two preparatory matches ahead of the meet. They lost to Japan by 1-4 goals and conceded 1-3 goals defeat against Pakistan.
Source: United News of Bangladesh