A grand celebration event will be held in Cuttack ahead of the FIH Men's Hockey World Cup 2023, which will be held in Odisha.
The marquee Hockey event will be held in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela from January 13 to January 29.
India will be looking forward to doing better this time, as they had crashed out of semifinal in the 2018 edition of the tournament following a loss to the Netherlands.
R Vineel Krishna, the Secretary of Sports and Youth Services in the Odisha government told ANI, "We are having a grand celebration event at Barabati Stadium in Cuttack on January 11. Taking this opportunity, we are inviting also all Hockey experts, former Hockey players, state & national association members as well for a National Hockey Conclave in Konark, which will be a brainstorming session on how to take forward the momentum that the sport currently has."
He revealed that preparations for the tournament are almost done and finishing touches are being given. He also informed how keen Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is on involving the community, especially the students, in the tournament.
"This has been planned in a much more engaging manner this time, in terms of involving everybody across the state and country. CM sent reps from the cabinet to different CMs and invited them personally. He also wants to involve students. A lot of competitions are being held for students, a trophy tour was done. Hosting the tournament in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela is challenging but everything is in place. Over the next few weeks, cultural, entertainment and sports events will be held. It is going to be a very memorable World Cup," he added.
Hockey India president Dilip Trikey also said that all preparations have been done in collaboration with the state government.
"For this World Cup, Hockey India in collaboration with Odisha Government has done all the preparations. This time we have Rourkela as a new venue which is the world's largest stadium having a seating capacity of 20,000," said Tirkey to ANI.
"Teams have reached to participate in the tournament. Practice sessions have started. All the teams will play at both the venue, Bhubaneswar and Rourkela so chartered flights have been arranged for their transportation during the tournament. The preparation has been really great," said Dilip Tirkey, President, Hockey India.
(With inputs from ANI)