The Indian women’s hockey team will start its Women’s Asia Cup 2022 campaign against Malaysia at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Muscat, Oman on Friday, the opening day of the championship. The tournament concludes on January 28.
India are the defending champions at the tournament, having won the 2017 edition in Japan after beating China in the final.
The Indian squad for the Women’s Asia Cup 2022 will be led by the 31-year-old goalkeeper Savita Punia as India’s regular captain Rani Rampal is still nursing an injury. Defender Deep Grace Ekka, meanwhile, will be Punia’s deputy.
As many as 16 in India’s 18-member squad have been selected from the team which reached the semi-finals at last year’s Tokyo Olympics. Forward Vandana Katariya, with 249 international caps, is the most experienced amongst them.
The tournament will be played in a two-pool format with cross-over classification matches.
India have been clubbed with Japan, Malaysia and Singapore in Pool A while South Korea, who are three-time champions, are placed alongside China, Thailand and Indonesia in Pool B. The top two teams from each group will make the semi-finals.
After playing Malaysia in their opener, two-time champions India will face Japan on January 23 and Singapore on January 24.
The semi-finals will be played on January 26 followed by the final on January 28.
The Women’s Asia Cup carries extra significance as the top four teams of the tournament qualify for the FIH Women’s World Cup 2022 to be held in Spain and the Netherlands in July.
The Women’s Asia Cup 2022 will be Indian women’s first real test since finishing fourth at the Tokyo Olympics in August. The team’s campaign at the Women’s Asian Champions Trophy in December had ended abruptly due to COVID-19.
The Women’s Asia Cup 2022 was earlier scheduled to be held in Thailand but was shifted to Oman due to COVID.
Indian hockey team for Women’s Asia Cup 2022
Goalkeepers: Savita Punia (captain), Rajani Etimarpu
Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka (vice captain), Gurjit Kaur, Nikki Pradhan, Udita
Midfielders: Nisha, Sushila Chanu, Monika, Neha, Salima Tete, Jyoti, Navjot Kaur
Forwards: Navneet Kaur, Lalremsiami, Vandana Katariya, Mariana Kujur, Sharmila Devi
Women’s Asia Cup 2022 hockey: Schedule and fixtures for India and live match start times
January 21, Friday: India vs Malaysia – 9:30 PM IST
January 23, Sunday: India vs Japan – 8:30 PM IST
January 24, Monday: India vs Singapore – 8:30 PM IST
January 26, Wednesday: Classification matches - 1:00 PM IST onwards
January 26, Wednesday: Semi-finals 1 and 2 – 6:30 PM IST onwards
January 27, Thursday: Classification matches – 6:00 PM IST onwards
January 28, Friday: Final and third/fourth playoff – 6:00 PM IST onwards
Where to watch Women’s Asia Cup 2022 hockey live in India?
Live streaming of the Women’s Asia Cup 2022 will be available on the watch.hockey website. There will be no live telecast of the hockey tournament in India.