Men in blue ready for big fight in last pool match of Hockey World Cup 2018

Team India in chill out mode

By Our Correspondent in Bhubaneswar
  • Published 5.12.18, 12:28 AM
  • Updated 5.12.18, 12:28 AM
  • a min read
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Odisha police chief RP Sharma (right) gives a memento to Birendra Lakra of the Indian hockey team as team members look on at Fan Village in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday. Ashwinee Pati

A day after the Pakistan team had visited the Fan Village, Team India turned up at the Kalinga Stadium to chill out and interact with fans before they take on Canada in the last pool match, which will decide their progress to the quarter-finals. The team also went for a trip to Puri on Tuesday.

At the Fan Village, the police band greeted the players and later Director General of Police R.P. Sharma welcomed them with mementos. The Indian players used the occasion to interact with fans and also posed for a few photographs. The players also took a round of the kiosk displaying sophisticated arms and modern communication devices state police personnel use.

Sharma hoped that the hosts would go on to lift the World Cup on home turf.

“The host had last won the tournament in 1975 and the fans are expecting a win this year. We have invited the host team to relax at the Fan Village and interact with the supporters,” said Sharma.

The state police on Monday have also invited the Pakistan team and it will also invite other participating teams to the Odisha police kiosk at the Fan Village.

Indian coach Harendra Singh said that Delhi was the heart of the country, but Bhubaneswar was the heart of hockey. “The kind of fan support we are getting here is unbelievable. The support is not only good for us, but also important for the game,” said Singh.

The host had started the tournament with a big win against South Africa, but drew with Belgium in the second match. The team needs to beat Canada to advance into the next round. “We have played matches everywhere in the country, but the kind of support we are getting here is touching. We will definitely try to fulfil the dream of the fans and perform to the best of our ability,” said Indian captain Manpreet Singh.