Chennai: The Hero Asian Champions Trophy preparations gained momentum with the arrival of three time champions Pakistan and China late on Tuesday night aiming for a good show and to key tune their plans for the Asian Games.
While the China Men’s Hockey Team directly flew to the city, Pakistan Team entered India through the Attari-Wagah border in Amritsar, from where they took a flight to Chennai via Bengaluru.
The eagerly awaited Asian Champions Trophy will commence on Thursday and will be held till August 12.
The tournament promises intense battles as six teams–India, Pakistan, Korea, China, Malaysia and Japan will lock horns for the honours.
Pakistan, who have won the Asian Champions Trophy title thrice, are the most successful team in the history of the tournament alongside India, and they will now be aiming to win the elusive trophy for the record fourth time.
Pakistan will open their campaign against Malaysia at the new laid astro-turf surface tomorrow.
On the preparations for the tournament and playing in India, Pakistan Coach Sheikh Shahnaz said on arrival, “We are always excited to play in India and it definitely adds to the pressure, but good quality players know how to perform and deliver under pressure, hence, we are hopeful of a good show on and off the field.”
“We are here to play positive hockey and I believe that India and Pakistan should play more and more matches against each other as it will help both the teams to take their respective games to the next level”, he said.
“Also, the Asian Champions Trophy will serve as a good precursor to Hangzhou Asian Games as we will be playing against the same teams in China. So this tournament will help us identify strengths and weaknesses of our opponents,” he said, adding, “We are hopeful of reaching the final of the tournament.”