Chennai is set to host its first international hockey event since 2007 following the announcement that the 2023 Asian Champions Trophy will be held in August.
The competition, in its seventh edition, is a precursor to the Asian Games which will be held the following month in September, in Hangzhou, China.
Defending champions South Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, Japan, and China will join hosts India between Aug 3-12 in Chennai.
Tamil Nadu sports minister Udhayanidhi Stalin said: “I believe hosting the Hero Asian Champions Trophy Chennai 2023 here will further revive the sport in the region and watching top teams in Asia will also inspire the younger generation to take up hockey as a career.”
The participation of Pakistan will be of extra interest. Pakistan last played on Indian soil at the 2018 World Cup in Bhubaneswar.
“This is not an invitational tournament, the top teams in Asia will play, so there will be no problems with permissions for Pakistan to play,” Bhola Nath Singh, Hockey India’s secretary-general.
He added: “Tamil Nadu in the past decade has hosted many important Hockey India National Championships across various age-groups and we were keen on taking international hockey matches to other states in the country.”