India to start as favourites in Jr Asia Cup hockey

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New Delhi, Jun 17 (UNI) Defending champions India have been placed in a relatively easier group alongside Malaysia, Japan, Thailand and Singapore in Pool A of the Junior Asia Cup men's hockey tournament to be held at the Gachhibowli Stadium, Hyderabad from July 8 to 18.

Arch-rivals Pakistan are placed in Pool B along with former champions South Korea, Bangladesh and Oman.

The superb performance of the junior players in the Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia has ensured that India goes into the competition with the tag of favourites.

The tournament will be played on league-cum-knock out basis with the top two teams from each pool moving into the semi-finals.

Meanwhile, technical preparations, including the ground conditions are up to mark so as to make the tournament, which India is hosting for the first time, a success.

The ad-hoc committee that has taken over the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) has formed an organising committee under the chairmanship of Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy and with 21 other members to look after the preparation for the tournament.

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