Off competitive hockey for almost a year, the Argentina tour will kickstart the Indian women’s team's preparation for the Tokyo Olympics.
The Indian women's hockey team will tour Argentina in January to get into competition mode ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.
A contingent of 25 players and seven support staff will leave for South America on January 3.
As part of the tour, the Indian eves will play eight matches against the hosts, starting from January 17 (early January 18 in India). India will play two matches each against the Argentina junior and B teams. The remaining four are against the senior team.
Before COVID-19 disrupted the sporting calendar globally, the Indian women's hockey team last participated in an international tour in January when it travelled to New Zealand for a five-match series. The team played both New Zealand and Great Britain then and won three of the five matches on the tour.
The trip to South America, hence, will mark an end to almost a year-long hiatus from competitive hockey for the Indian women's team.
“I am happy that after one year we are able to play international matches,” said chief coach Sjoerd Marijne. “This tour will give us information for the next step to be made in our preparations for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
“I want to thank Hockey India for their efforts to make this possible and thank Sports Authority of India (SAI) for their quick response.”
To ensure the safety of the players, both Hockey India (HI) and Argentina Hockey Confederation (CAH) will be taking thorough precautionary measures.
The entire Indian contingent will undergo a COVID-19 RT-PCR test 72 hours prior to their departure from New Delhi. Though there is no requirement of quarantine upon arrival in Argentina, the team will still be following all safety and health measures as advised by the respective governments of India and Argentina. The full tour will be held in a biosecure bubble
“This tour has been planned very carefully keeping in mind the safety of players," stated Rani Rampal, captain of the Indian women’s hockey team. “We have a little over 200 days before we arrive in Tokyo for the Olympic Games in July 2021 and it was very important to play matches against a strong team like Argentina
“The team is really excited for this opportunity and has been keenly looking forward to this tour, this exposure will make us understand the level we are at after nearly a five-month-long national coaching camp in Bengaluru,” she added.
All times are in Indian Standard Time (IST)
Monday, January 18: India vs Argentina Junior Women - 2:30 AM IST
Wednesday, January 20: India vs Argentina Junior Women - 2:30 AM IST
Saturday, January 23: India vs Argentina B - 2:30 AM IST
Monday, January 25: India vs Argentina B - 2:30 AM IST
Wednesday, January 27: India vs Argentina - 2:30 AM IST
Friday, January 29: India vs Argentina - 2:30 AM IST
Sunday, January 31: India vs Argentina - 2:30 AM IST
Monday, February 1: India vs Argentina - 2:30 AM IST