The Indian hockey team will play a four-nation tournament at the State Netball and Hockey Centre here from November 22 to 27, also comprising hosts Australia, Malaysia and a yet to confirmed team.
The tourney will be followed by a two-match Test series between India and Australia to be played from November 30 to December 2 at a yet to be decided venue. Alongside the men’s competition, the Indian and Australian women’s teams will play a three-match Test series.
The involvement of both genders will make hockey the only sport Down Under that delivers annual event content featuring both Australia and India, men and women. These series’ are being touted as the Victorian Festival of Hockey.
“The festival of hockey in Melbourne will be the highest profile event the sport has seen in Australia since the 2012 Champions Trophy, allowing us to showcase the sport and our partnership with India to the country and the rest of the world,” Hockey Australia (HA) chief executive Cam Vale said on Tuesday.
“In the Kookaburras and India, we have two of the in-form teams in world hockey right now. Malaysia are hot on the heels of the best, sitting just outside the top-10, and we’re excited about the prospect of including the proposed fourth team, which we will look to announce after discussions and confirmation of our broadcast partners.”
India’s participation in the event comes as a result of HA’s Memorandum of Understanding with Hockey India (HI), signed last year, which will see the Indian men’s team tour Australia over the next three years.
“Perhaps the biggest strength of our sport is its gender equality and it’s a great reflection of that strength that the Hockeyroos will host the Indian women’s team for three Tests as part of the event,” said Vale.
“Their standout Friday night fixture, we are certain will capture the imagination of the public, sponsors and broadcasters alike in the spirit of the famous hockey movie partially shot in Melbourne – Chak De! India.”