Home Sports Hockey Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2019: Can Indian Men Make the Cut?

Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2019: Can Indian Men Make the Cut?

The Sultan Azlan Shah Cup is an annual international men’s field hockey tournament which is hosted in Malaysia. It was incepted in 1983 and used to take place every two years. After 1998 because of its popularity, the tournament became an annual event. It is named after the ninth Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King) of Malaysia, Sultan Azlan Shah who was a huge fan of field hockey.

Australia has won the tournament the most number of times. The Kangaroos have won the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 10 times in 1983, 1988, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2018. They are the current champions and a team to beat.

India has won the cup four times in 1985, 1991, 1995 and 2009, also in 2010, India shared the trophy along with South Korea. Germany, New Zealand and Great Britain have won the coveted trophy twice. Argentina and the Netherlands have won it once.

Continent-wise, Oceania has won 12 titles, followed by Asia with 9 titles, Europe has 5 and America has 1.

Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2019 Prediction

The Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2019 will be held in Ipoh, Malaysia. The Indian Hockey Team will begin their campaign with a match against Japan on March 23. Considering their head-to-head history against the Japanese, this will be a winnable fixture for the Men in Blue.

The Indian team will play play against South Korea on March 24. Their last encounter in the Asian Games was an entertaining affair which India won 5-3. Although the Koreans may cause some trouble, this fixture can also be won,

Lastly, they play the tough hosts and Asian Games Silver medallist Malaysia on March 26. Although traditionally, India have had an upper hand over the Asian nation, Malaysia have been resurgent in the last few years.

They were victorious in the semi finals of the 2018 Asian Games, where they downed the Men in Blue in penalty shootout by 6-7. Thus, defeating Malaysia could be an uphill task for India of the three fixtures.

Sultan Azlan Shah Cup Men’s International Hockey Tournament Schedule :

Date Match Time Teams
23 March 2019 1 13:35 India Vs Japan
2 15:35 Canada Vs Korea
3 18:05 Malaysia Vs Poland
24 March 2019 4 13:35 India Vs Korea
5 15:35 Poland Vs Korea
6 18:05 Japan Vs Malaysia
26 March 2019 7 13:35 Japan Vs Canada
8 15:35 Poland Vs Korea
9 18:05 Malaysia Vs India
27 March 2019 10 13:35 Poland Vs Japan
11 15:35 Canada Vs India
12 18:05 Korea Vs Malaysia
29 March 2019 13 13:35 India Vs Poland
14 15:35 Korea Vs Japan
15 18:05 Malaysia Vs Canada
30 March 2019 16 13:10 5/6th place
17 15:35 3/4th place
18 18:05 Final

Indian Squad for Sultan Azlan Shah Cup

Goalkeepers: PR Sreejesh, Krishan B Pathak

Defenders: Gurinder Singh, Surender Kumar (vice-captain), Varun Kumar, Birendra Lakra, Amit Rohidas, Kothajit Singh Khadangbam

Midfielders: Hardik Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Sumit, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Manpreet Singh (captain)

Forwards: Mandeep Singh, Simranjeet Singh, Gurjant Singh, Shilanand Lakra, Sumit Kumar

Young Indian Squad

“It is unfortunate that we will be missing some key players for the 28th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2019 due to injury. However, it is important for them to return to 100 per cent fitness ahead of the FIH Series Final, which is a crucial tournament in our quest for 2020 Olympic berth and so they will continue to remain in Bengaluru and work on their rehabilitation,” said David John, HI’s High-Performance Director.

“It is a relatively young side but each of these players have tremendous potential and have a good amount of international exposure. It is important to see how they fair in Malaysia as it will show the depth we possess in the core group ahead of the Olympic Qualification events this year,” added John, who is currently in charge of the team in the absence of a full-time chief coach.

We will take one match at a time: Captain Manpreet Singh

Skipper Manpreet Singh, talking before the tournament said, “Though we are the highest ranked team in the tournament, we cannot get ahead of ourselves and have to take one match at a time rather than thinking directly about the final, as we have some tough encounters, to begin with. Each step is important and the objective will be to ensure that we come out victorious in all our matches.”

For more updates on Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, stay tuned to KreedOn, the voice of Indian sports.

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Gaurav Kadam
Gaurav Kadam is a young sportswriter and journalist who is a huge cricket enthusiast. He is a bibliophile and a movie and American TV series buff, who is completely addicted to Netflix. Gaurav is liberal in thoughts and agnostic in deeds.

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