NEW DELHI: With just 200 days to go for the prestigious Odisha Hockey Men's World Cup Bhubaneswar and Rourkela to begin on 13 January 2023, there is a lot of excitement among hockey fans around the globe who will arrive in the hockey-loving state of Odisha to witness 16 best teams vie for honours in the marquee tournament in international hockey calendar.
This is the second time Odisha, under the leadership of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, is hosting the prestigious quadrennial hockey tournament, making it the only state to host back-to-back FIH Hockey Men's World Cup.
While the iconic Kalinga Hockey Stadium in Bhubaneswar hosted the previous edition of the World Cup which was lauded world-over for its exceptional infrastructure and Hockey India's immaculate execution of the event as hosts, this time the coveted event will also be held in the heart of Odisha's hockey belt - Rourkela, a region famous for its hockey prowess having produced numerous international hockey players. With the largest hockey stadium in the country being built in the steel city of Rourkela, the people of the region are eagerly awaiting to see world's best players in action during the Odisha Hockey Men's World Cup Bhubaneswar and Rourkela.
Reflecting the team's excitement of playing yet another World Cup in front of home crowd, Manpreet Singh who has been named the captain for the upcoming Commonwealth Games said, "Mere words can't express the team's excitement of playing yet another World Cup in Odisha. This time, with Rourkela also hosting matches, we are all eager to experience the region's hockey craze. Our compatriots in the team who are from Odisha have spoken endlessly about the love people have for hockey in this region which makes us all the more eager to play there," expressed Manpreet.
"We are ever so grateful to Hon'ble Chief Minister Shri Naveen Patnaik who with his continued support for the sport has helped us achieve great laurels for the country. Under his leadership, we have been provided with world's best hockey infrastructure to compete and with infrastructure work nearing completion in Rourkela, we are all waiting to play in the new facility. By hosting the event in India again, we are provided with yet another opportunity to fight for the prestigious World Cup Title and the team is heading in the right direction," added Manpreet Singh.