The Indian hockey team will resume its international commitments next year with a clash against Japan in the Asian Champions Trophy opener in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
The Manpreet Singh-led side has been out of action since playing the FIH Pro League tie against Australia in February. India will look at the continental event as a tune-up to the 2021 season that includes the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The match against Japan on March 11, the opening day of the event, will be followed by a clash against the hosts Bangladesh on the following day.
The highly-anticipated India vs Pakistan tie is scheduled for March 13, with the Graham Reid-coached team completing its league engagements with matches against Malaysia and South Korea on March 15 and 16, respectively.
The semi-finals are slated for March 18 while the Asian Champions Trophy final will be played on the following day.
The Indian hockey team has been out of action for the majority of the year. But preparations for the upcoming season at the national camp in Bengaluru are in full swing.
“We have been very fortunate to resume training. The sessions are planned in such a way that we play matches against each other where we are expected to bring out our best,” Indian midfielder Sumit told Hockey India last week.
“The Asian Champions Trophy next year will show the level we are at and how much we will need to further improve ahead of the Olympic Games.”
India have won the Asian Champions Trophy three times – in 2011, 2016 and 2018 - where they were crowned champions jointly with Pakistan after the final was abandoned due to poor weather. The Indian hockey team was also runners-up in 2012.
Asian Champions Trophy 2021 schedule, fixtures and times for India
All times are in Indian Standard Time (IST)
Thursday, March 11
Japan vs India - 3:00 PM IST
Bangladesh vs Malaysia - 5:30 PM IST
South Korea vs Pakistan - 8:00 PM IST
Friday, March 12
India vs Bangladesh - 3:00 PM IST
Malaysia vs Pakistan - 5:30 PM IST
Japan vs Korea - 8:00 PM IST
Saturday, March 13
India vs Pakistan - 3:00 PM IST
Malaysia vs South Korea - 5:30 PM IST
Bangladesh vs Japan - 8:00 PM IST
Sunday, March 14
Monday, March 15
Malaysia vs India - 3:00 PM IST
South Korea vs Bangladesh - 5:30 PM IST
Pakistan vs Japan - 8:00 PM IST
Tuesday, March 16
India vs South Korea - 3:00 PM IST
Japan vs Malaysia - 5:30 PM IST
Pakistan vs Bangladesh - 8:00 PM IST
Wednesday, March 17
Thursday, March 18
Fifth/sixth place match - 3:00 PM IST
Semi-final 1 - 5:30 PM IST
Semi-final 2 - 8:00 PM IST
Friday, March 19
Third/fourth place match - 5:30 PM IST
Final - 8:00 PM IST