Defending champions India will be hosting the Men’s Junior World Cup for a third consecutive time, and enter the event as one of the strong favourites.
India will begin their defence of the Men’s Junior Hockey World title when they take on France on Wednesday.
The boys in blue enter the tournament as the solid favourites to retain their title, not only due to the massive improvement in Indian hockey in recent years which led to an Olympic bronze medal for the men’s team and a fourth-place finish for the women’s side, but also because of pullouts staged by some of their stronger opponents.
Powerhouses such as Australia, England and New Zealand will be missing in action in the fourth edition of the tournament due to concerns over COVID-19 . Australia had after all reached the semis of the previous edition of the tournament, which was hosted in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, and gave India a tough fight before losing out on penalties, and then losing to six-time champions Germany in the third-place playoff.
The Indian squad had also been training with the senior men’s side at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) campus in Bengaluru in the build-up to the event, to make up for the lack of practice tours due to the global pandemic that had restricted travel and sporting events for the most part of the last two years.
Playing practice games with the seniors who made history earlier this year by winning their first Olympic medal in four decades would also serve the juniors well. Graham Reid, who coaches the senior side, had also overseen the preparations for the Junior World Cup, in which India will be captained by Vivek Sagar Prasad — a member of the bronze-winning Tokyo squad.
Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming tournament:
How many teams and pools are there in the Men’s Junior Hockey World Cup 2021?
As many as 16 teams will be participating in the upcoming tournament, and are divided into four pools as follows:
Pool A: Belgium, Chile, Malaysia and South Africa
Pool B: India, Canada, France and Poland
Pool C: South Korea, Netherlands, Spain and USA
Pool D: Argentina, Egypt, Germany and Pakistan
When will the Men’s Junior World Cup 2021 take place?
The Men’s Junior World Cup will take place between 24 November to 5 December, 2021. Here’s the full schedule (timings in IST):
Wednesday, 24 November: Belgium vs South Africa (9.30 am), Germany vs Pakistan (12 pm), Canada vs Poland (2.30 pm), Malaysia vs Chile (5 pm), India vs France (8 pm)
Thursday, 25 November: Argentina vs Egypt (9.30 am), Netherlands vs South Korea (12 pm), Spain vs USA (2.30 pm), France vs Poland (5 pm), Canada vs India (7.30 pm)
Friday, 26 November: South Africa vs Chile (9.30 am), South Korea vs USA (12 pm), Spain vs Netherlands (2.30 pm), Argentina vs Germany (5 pm), Malaysia vs Belgium (7.30 pm)
Saturday, 27 November: Pakistan vs Egypt (9.30 am), France vs Canada (12 pm), South Africa vs Malaysia (2.30 pm), Belgium vs Chile (5 pm), India vs Poland (7.30 pm)
Sunday, 28 November: South Korea vs Spain (12 pm), Netherlands vs USA (2.30 pm), Pakistan vs Argentina (5 pm), Germany vs Egypt (7.30 pm)
Tuesday, 30 November: 3rd Pool A vs 4th Pool B (Match 25, 10.30 am), 3rd Pool D vs 4th Pool C (Match 26, 1.30 pm), 3rd Pool B vs 4th Pool A (Match 27, 4.30 pm), 3rd Pool C vs 4th Pool D (Match 28, 7.30 pm)
Wednesday, 1 December: 1st Pool A vs 2nd Pool B (Match 29, 10.30 am), 1st Pool D vs 2nd Pool C (Match 30, 1.30 pm), 1st Pool B vs 2nd Pool A (Match 31, 4.30 pm), 1st Pool C vs 2nd Pool D (Match 32, 7.30 pm)
Thursday, 2 December: Loser of 25 vs Loser of 26 (Match 33, 10.30 am); Loser of 27 vs Loser of 28 (Match 34, 1.30 pm), Winner of 25 vs Winner of 26 (Match 35, 4.30 pm), Winner of 27 vs Winner of 28 (Match 36, 7.30 pm)
Friday, 3 December: Loser of 29 vs Loser of 30 (Match 37, 10.30 am), Loser of 31 vs Loser of 32 (Match 38, 1.30 pm), Winner of 29 vs Winner of 30 (Semi-final, Match 39, 4.30 pm), Winner of 31 vs Winner of 32 (Semi-final, Match 40, 7.30 pm)
Saturday, 4 December: Loser of 33 vs Loser of 34 (Match 41, 10.30 am), Winner of 33 vs Winner of 34 (Match 42, 1.30 pm), Loser of 35 vs Loser of 36 (Match 43, 4.30 pm), Winner of 35 vs Winner of 36 (Match 44, 7.30 pm)
Sunday, 5 December: Loser of 37 vs Loser of 38 (Match 45, 10.30 am), Winner of 37 vs Winner of 38 (Match 46, 1.30 pm), Loser of 39 vs Loser of 40 (3rd/4th place playoff, 4.30 pm), Winner of 39 vs Winner of 40 (Final, 7.30 pm)
Where will the matches of the Men’s Junior Hockey World Cup 2021 take place:
All the matches will take place at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
Where can I watch the live coverage of the 2021 Men’s Junior World Cup?
The match will be telecast on Star Sports Network. The live streaming of the match will also be available on Disney+ Hotstar as well as on Watch.hockey-India (https://watch.hockey/).