Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Hosts India are all set to begin their FIH Odisha Men’s Hockey World Cup campaign with a match against Spain on Friday. Graham Reid’s men have been placed in Pool D along with England and Wales.

The Harmanpreet Singh-led side will be up against England on January 15. In their last group fixture, the Men in Blue will face Wales two days later.

The Men in Blue are aiming to lift the Men’s Hockey World Cup trophy for the second time. For the first time in over four decades, India is approaching the marquee event as an Olympic medallist following its 2021 bronze medal win in Tokyo. 

The hunger for success will be intense as India, which bagged a bronze medal in 1971, a silver in 1973 and a gold in 1975, had its last podium finish in a World Cup nearly 48 years ago. Coached by the Australian World Cup and Olympic medallist Reid, the home team, which was a quarter-finalist in the last edition and is now a blend of youth and experience, will be keen for a fruitful campaign.

Irrespective of where India finish, the 16-team event is all set to bolster Odisha’s reputation to host big-ticket sporting events.

India’s record at Men’s Hockey World Cup

1971 - 3rd place
1973 - Runners–up
1975 - Champions
1798 - 6th Place
1982 - 5th place
1986 - 12th place
1990 - 10th place
1994 - 5th place
1998 - 9th place
2002 - 10th place
2006 - 11th place
2010 - 8th place
2014 - 9th place
2018 - 6th place