In an important step, Pakistan and China have announced that they will compete in the 7th Asian Champions Trophy hockey competition, which will be hosted at Chennai's SDAT-Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium from August 3-12. Previously major hockey tournaments have been hosted in Odisha, but Chennai will be the first Indian city to host the coveted Men's Asian Champions Trophy.
J. Sekar Manoharan, head of the Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu, confirmed the information on Monday, saying, "Since there were doubts expressed by the media on the two teams (China and Pakistan) participation, we are happy to inform that they have sent their confirmation."
This will be the 7th edition of the tournament, where India and Pakistan are the most successful sides with three titles each to their names. The title in 2018 was shared between the neighbouring teams after the final was called off due to heavy rains.
The competition will include six Asian nations namely India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Japan, China, and South Korea. The Indian men's hockey squad will use the competition as a warm-up for the Asian Games, which will take place in Hangzhou, China, in September-October.
South Korea are the defending champions of the Asian Champions Trophy. The Koreans defeated Japan in a close match, which went on to penalties in the finals in 2021. India won the bronze medal match against Pakistan 4-3.