Former Indian hockey player Dhanraj Pillay is hopeful of Indian hockey team, winning a gold in Asian Games 2018 and directly qualifying for 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Dhanraj also expects this Indian team to reach the finals of Commonwealth games this year, where they may face Australia/Great Britain in the finals.
“India will win historic gold in Asian Games 2018 and will directly qualify for the Olympics,” Dhanraj said.
He further said ” We have a captain like Manpeet Singh, who can take the best game out of the senior players like PR Sreejesh and Sardar Singh, to take the team forward. In the past 5 years, Hockey India League has boosted the financial needs of the players, and now they can fully focus on their game rather than thinking about their finance option,”.
In case you don’t know, Indian hockey team will have a packed 2018. They will first battle it out in the Commonwealth Games from 5-14 April 2018. India will start their campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan in a group B encounter on 7th April. Other team to join them are- England, Malaysia and Wales.
On the other hand, group A will have the likes of world champion Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and Scotland.
The next challenge will be in form of Asian Games from 18th August-2nd September. The schedule and pools are yet to be decided.
The Manpreet led side will next compete in Hero Asian Champions trophy 2018 to be held in Muscat, Oman from 18-28 October. The tournament will give a final chance to the Indian team, as to improve and test all the prospects of the game before heading to Hockey World cup 2018. The grand hockey event will be held in Odisha, India from November 28- December 16.