Bhubaneswar: The fervor of Odisha Men’s Hockey World League Final 2017 has started gripping the city as the 18-member Indian hockey team arrived here on Wednesday. The city gave a rousing welcome to the team led by Manpreet Singh the Biju Patnaik International Airport.
As the League matches to start from December 1 here in Kalinga Stadium, the venue for the tournament is decked up and flags of the participating teams are hoisted . Hotels in the city warmed up to receive the hockey stars of the world. Security has tightened in view of hockey players starting arriving in the city.
World’s top eight hockey teams divided into two pools are going to participate in the championship. Pool A includes Argentina, Belgium, Netherlands and Spain while host India along with defending champion Australia, England and Germany are in pool B.
The Indian team under mentor Sjoerd Marijne will be meeting defending champions Australia in their first game in Pool B matches on the opening day on December 1. The Indian team includes three players from the state, Birendra Lakra, Amit Rohidas and Dipsan Tirkey.
Bhubaeswar is hosting the international hockey event for the second time after Men’s Hockey Championships Trophy 2014. India finished fourth in the Championship Trophy 2014.