Indian Women’s hocket is set to hit the restart button as they prepare to travel to Argentina next week for their first tour after almost a year. As all competitions around the world were kept on hold following the COVID-19 pandemic, things are slowing getting back to normal as the Indian Women’s hockey team starts their preparations for Olympics with the tour.
A group of total 25 players and 7 support staff will be leaving from New Delhi on January 3 as they face the hosts Argentina in 8 matches starting from January 17.
“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,” Indian Women’s Hockey team’s captain Rani stated in a release issued by Hockey India. “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.
Chief coach Sjoerd Marijne said, “I am happy that after one year we are able to play international matches. This tour will give us information for the next step to be made in our preparations for the Tokyo Olympic Games,” Hockey India and National Association have jointly planned to create bio bubble for both the teams in Argentina.
“This tour has been planned very carefully keeping in mind the safety of players and we are truly grateful to Hockey India and SAI for ensuring we resume competition despite the ongoing pandemic,” the Indian captain revealed.
The last international tour of the Indian women’s team was registered in January 2020, almost a year ago. It was against New Zealand following a 5-match series. The team faced both NZ and Great Britain winning three of the matches.
According to the bio bubble protocols, team members are not allowed to move out of the bubble or meet any third-party source even during their travel to the match/training venue. The dedicated transport vehicle is only to take up to 80% capacity. The entire Indian group is to undergo COVID-19 RT-PCR Test 72 hours prior to their departure from New Delhi.