Hosts India favourites in Jr. Asia Cup hockey

June 17th, 2008 - 4:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, June 17 (IANS) India have been placed alongside Malaysia, Japan, Thailand and Singapore in Pool A in the Junior Asia Cup men’s hockey tournament to be held at the Gachhibowli Stadium here from July 8. South Korea, Bangladesh, Oman and Pakistan will constitute Pool B.

The tournament will be played on league-cum-knock out basis with the top two teams from each pool moving into the semi-finals. The final is slated on July 18.

India are favourites to defend their title which they won four years ago beating hosts Pakistan in Karachi. Pakistan have been champions in the first three editions.

The Indian team which reached the final of the Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia last month comprised mostly of junior players. After their showing in that tourney, the juniors will be confident to take on teams like Pakistan, Japan, Malaysia and Korea.

Preparations are afoot to make the tournament, which India is hosting for the first time, a successful event.

The ad-hoc committee that has taken over the Indian Hockey Federation has formed an organising committee under the chairmanship of Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy and with 21 other members to look after the preparation for the tournament.

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