The Indian men's hockey team are grouped with England, Pakistan, Malaysia and Wales in Pool B for next year's Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, Australia.
The Indian women's team, on the other hand,will face-off with England, South Africa, Malaysia and Wales in Pool A.
Each team will play every other team within their pool during the preliminary round matches from April 5 to April 11 before the top two teams in each pool advance to the semi-final and medal matches from April 12 to April 14.
While the Indian women's hockey team will play their first match against Wales on April 5th, the Indian men's team will take on nemesis Pakistan in their first Pool B match on April 7 stated the match schedule for the preliminary rounds of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) Hockey competition following the unveiling of the competition pools today at the Gold Coast Hockey Centre.
Sanctioned by the International Hockey Federation (FIH), today's announcement saw the 10 competing nations for both men's and women's Hockey competitions divided into two pools of five based on their FIH World Rankings. Teams have been divided into pools in a snaking pattern from the top-seeded nation down to the 10th-seeded nation to evenly spread competing nations across both pools.
"It is a tough Pool but we are looking forward to the challenge. We are playing England and Australia here at the Odisha Men's Hockey World League Bhubaneswar 2017 so this experience we help us in our preparations for the Commonwealth Games. With the top two teams from the pool stage qualifying for Semi Final, the group stage will definitely witness close contest," expressed Sjoerd Marijne, Indian men's team chief coach.
The Indian men's hockey team have previously lost the Commonwealth Games">Commonwealth Games Final to Australia twice in 2014 and 2010 but will be hoping to change their fortunes this time.
Meanwhile, Indian women's team chief Coach Harendra Singh said,"I am happy with the group. I believe our team can challenge any team in the world and jumping up the world ranking encourages the athletes to get better and better. It's theCommonwealth Games and we can't take any team lightly." The only time the Indian Women won Gold at the Commonwealth Games was in 2002.
Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) President Louise Martin CBE,"Today's release of the official pools and match schedule for both men's and women's Hockey competitions at GC2018 is an exciting milestone for fans of hockey from around the world."
"It's so wonderful to see such diversity of representation from across the Commonwealth involving the best hockey nations from Asia, Oceania, Europe, Africa and the Americas."