The Indian women’s Hockey team has cancelled its tour to China due to the outbreak of the deadly Coronavirus. And as a result, Hockey India is now having a hard task to find an opponent for their preparation for the Olympics.
Rani Rampal & Co. were set to travel to China between 14 March and 25 March. However, the tour has now been cancelled due to the viral disease. Coronavirus has already killed over 700 and infected over 31,000 people.
“We had to travel to China but that has been cancelled due to the virus. So a lot of teams are also not available to play with because they are participating in the Pro hockey league,” PTI quoted Indian captain Rani as saying.
“Hockey India and our coaches are working out whom to play,” she added.
Currently, Argentina, Belgium, Germany, Australia, Great Britain; New Zealand, Netherlands and the United States are participating in the International Hockey Federation’s (FIH) Pro Hockey League.
With hardly five months left for the mega event in Tokyo, time is very crucial. “For good preparation, you need to play with good teams,” Rani said.
The Indian team finished their tour down under on Wednesday with a 3-0 victory over New Zealand, ending their tour on a high. The team will now undergo a month-long training and conditioning starting from 16 February.
However, now with a cancelled tour in March, the women’s team will have a free time of three weeks, after which they return to another training and preparatory camp from 6th April.
The Women’s Hockey team qualified for Tokyo by beating the USA in the 2019 FIH Olympic Qualifiers in Bhubaneshwar. Tokyo will be the third appearance by the Indian side at the Olympics.
The United States has offered $100 million to China and other neighbouring countries to fight against the deadly disease.