Top Field for Azlan Shah Hockey
10 Nov 2003 14:39
India will begin their campaign 13th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament, from January 8-18, 2004, with a match against Germany.
The 13th edition of the tournament will feature seven top flight teams in world hockey.
World champions Germany, who finished second last year, are the top draw. The other top teams are defending champions Pakistan, India, Australia and South Korea.
Three teams, Germany, Australia and South Korea, have already booked berths to the Athens Olympics next year. The other four teams will play in the qualifying tournament, which will be held in Madrid Spain in March.
Thus, for varying reasons the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil will prove crucial for all the teams.
India had pulled out of the last edition after the government denied it permission to make the trip, due to the harassment of Indian IT professionals in Malaysia.
Except for Spain and Malaysia all the other teams have won the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup before. India won the event thrice (1995, 1991 and 1985). Pakistan also has won it thrice (1999, 2000 and 2003), while Germany (1987 and 2001) and Australia (1983 and 1998) won twice. England (1994) and Korea (1996) won once.
Article courtesy Rediff.com