India Will Give Best Challenge In Hockey World Cup 2023 Former Captain Mm Somaya Hopes.
New Delhi ( New Delhi ) . Less than 100 days are left for the FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup Bhubaneswar -Rourkela 2023. The Indian team is making its preparations to end the medal drought at the prestigious event.
At the same time, Hockey India has brought a series of memories of India’s historic World Cup campaigns to hockey fans through the flashback series “World Cup Special”.
Till the World Cup in Odisha, Hockey India will introduce fans through this series to the Indian hockey legends who have ruled the world with their magic and pancakes.
In the same episode, the legendary MM Somaya, a 1980 Moscow Olympics gold medallist and former captain of the Indian men’s hockey team, who was part of two World Cup campaigns, shared his memories of the years gone by.
Four decades ago, India hosted its first men’s FIH Hockey World Cup, when the showpiece tournament was played in Mumbai (then Bombay). It was the fifth edition of the tournament and hosts India were defending the gold medal of the 1980 Moscow Olympics.
Recalling those moments, MM Somaya, one of the mainstays of the Indian team in the 1980s, said, “We finished fifth in the 1982 World Cup, which was really eagerly fought and played on grass.
Pakistan won the gold medal, but looking back, we could have made it to the semi-finals. We had a good team, a very good forward line and a very well balanced team.”
Somaya was an important part of the formation at that time, his then teammate Mohammad Shahid is another player who is much remembered for his dribbling skills.
Talking about Shahid, Somaya said: “He was a great player and had great dribbling skills. Shahid had a great tournament in the 1986 World Cup in London.
I would consider him one of the best players in India, he used to dribble at a fast pace. He was one of the best dribblers in the game at that time in our team.”
Somaya is impressed with the current Indian men’s hockey team and hopes to finish the FIH Hockey Men’s Hockey World Cup Bhubaneswar -Rourkela 2023 on the podium.
“I think in the last 8-10 years, the Indian men’s hockey team has changed itself and they are doing much better because now we are among the top four teams in world hockey.
I must appreciate the coaching staff and the scientific training that these players are getting, which has made them a very strong team and I hope in the coming World Cup they challenge the best and hopefully they will end their campaign with a medal.”
The FIH Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar and Rourkela 2023 will begin on January 13, 2023, with Argentina taking on South Africa in the tournament opener. Meanwhile, in Rourkela, India will take on Spain in the fourth match of the day.
“The Indian men’s hockey team has given us a lot of happiness over the years and it is a pleasure to see them play. I was really thrilled at the podium finish at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Therefore, I wish every member of the team and the coaching staff all the best for the upcoming FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup Bhubaneswar -Rourkela 2023.”