Hockey colts get inspiration from cricket win

Published: Monday, April 19, 2004, 2:20 [IST]
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Karachi : World Junior hockey champions India will draw inspiration from the national cricket team's successful tour of Pakistan when they take the field in the junior Asia Cup hockey tournament starting in Karachi on Tuesday.

"We are here to win and after hearing about the tour of our cricket team which ended in a historic win, the boys are inspired and will do their best to finish as winners," team coach Harendra Singh said.

"The cricketers have shown us the way and we would follow it. My team is competent enough to win the tournament," the former fullback said.

The ten-nation tournament will also serve as the qualification event for the 8th Junior World Cup in Amstelveen, Netherlands, next year, with a maximum of three teams from the competition making it through.

Besides India, hosts Pakistan and Junior Asian champions South Korea start as favourites for the tournament.

"The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has already announced that two finalists from the Asia Cup will get berth in the Junior World Cup and there is a possibiity of a third team if the Executive Board approves a new format," FIH media committee member Sardar Khan said.

If FIH decides a 16-team format for the 2005 Junior World Cup, there is a possibility to include a third team from Asia.

In the Asia Cup, India are placed in Group B alongside Bangladesh, China, Malaysia and Sri Lanka while Pakistan, South Korea, Chinese Taipei, Japan and Singapore are placed in Group A.

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