Indian men’s hockey team will begin their FIH Hockey Pro League 2021-22 campaign against New Zealand on Feb. 5, 2022, the FIH (International Hockey Federation) on announced.
According to the schedule announced by FIH on Friday for the 2021-22 season, this year’s edition of the home-and-away League will kick off on Oct. 6, 2021 when reigning Women’s World Champions Netherlands face-off against Belgium.
India captain Manpreet Singh expressed his team’s excitement over taking on New Zealand followed by Australia in away-games when they start their campaign in the Hockey Pro League.
“With the FIH announcing the schedule for 2021-22 season, it gives us an opportunity to plan our preparations well in advance. Though right now our focus is on doing well in Tokyo this July and peaking at the right time to succeed at the Olympic Games, we now know what needs to be done in the second half of the year where we will need to prepare with an intent to do well against New Zealand and Australia in their home grounds,’ said Manpreet.
“They (New Zealand and Australia) are always a very challenging team particularly at home and we are very excited about the prospects of starting our campaign against them,” he added.
India who made their debut in the coveted home-and-away global league last year, will take on New Zealand on Feb. 5, 2022 in a double-header followed by matches against Australia on Feb. 12 and 13, 2022.
In the same month, India will also play Spain (on Feb. 26 and 27) followed by matches against Germany (Mar. 12 and 13 ) and Argentina (Mar. 19 and 20) in home games.
In April, India will take on England (Apr. 2 and 3) at home followed by away games against Belgium (on June 11 and 12) and Netherlands (June 18 and 19).
“Great to see the fixtures released for the next season of the 2021-2022 FIH Pro League. We look forward to once again playing against the best teams in the world after what will have been a challenging year for all concerned,” said Indian men’s hockey chief coach Graham Reid.
“We will begin our assault on the title with a trip to New Zealand and Australia in February 2022. These matches are always tough against tough competitors in what can be often very warm conditions during that time of the year,” he added.