The Indian junior women’s hockey team will finally see competitive action after more than a year without any matches due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The junior eves will travel to Chile for a six-match tour later this month, Hockey India stated in a release.
Their last competitive tournament was played back in December 2019 in a tri-nation competition against Australia and New Zealand.
The team will play the junior Chile team on January 17 and 18 first up. Then they will take on the senior Chile team on January 20, 21, 23 and 24.
The tour is considered crucial as the side prepares for the Junior Women’s World Cup, set to be held in South Africa in December 2021. It must be noted that the Junior Women's Asia Cup is also set to be held in April 2021 in Japan.
"The junior women's team has worked very hard since returning to the National Coaching Camp in October and it will be great to see the players execute their skills in a match environment in Chile," Indian junior women's hockey team coach Erik Wonink said in the release.
Hockey India (HI) has named a 24-member squad for the tour, led by defender Suman Devi Thoudam and Ishika Chaudhary who will be the vice-captain.
Hockey India and the Chilean Field Hockey Federation will also create a bio bubble for all the players and staff involved in the tour.
"The entire Indian squad (players & support staff) will be tested twice (once within 72 hours of departure from India & once at arrival in Chile) before the Indian team starts training in Chile," Hockey India said.
"We are absolutely ecstatic about touring Chile as it's been a while since we got some match practice due to the coronavirus pandemic, so this will be a good outing especially as it's coming at an apt time," captain Thoudam said.