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Chennai likely to host 2018 WC for hockey

Updated by admin on Sunday, February 21, 2016 10:30 PM IST

Ranchi: Chennai is one of the main contenders to host the 2018 senior men’s hockey World Cup, Hockey India President Narinder Batra has said.

“We want to take it to Chennai and have had preliminary discussions about doing so,” Batra told the media during a press conference at the Astroturf Hockey

Stadium here on February 20.  “We will have further discussions with the government there,” he added.

58-year-old Batra also said he will step down as HI President in 2020.

If and when Chennai hosts the event, it will be the biggest hockey tournament since the Asia Cup in 2007 for the city. It will also be the first world event since the 2005 Champions Trophy.

While both the competitions were held at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium in Egmore, it would have to be upgraded to host the quadrennial bash. The ground needs a second pitch as the rules mandate it, though nothing has been finalised as of now.

Batra’s announcement cleared the air since there was earlier an indication that Bhubaneswar could be asked to host the competition. India was awarded the right to host the 2018 tournament during a special session in Lausanne on November 7, 2013.

Bhubaneswar will be venue for the 2017 World Hockey League Finals, with Lucknow emerging as a prime candidate to host this year’s Junior World Cup.  “I had an understanding with Leandro Negre (FIH President) that whenever he steps down, I will also step down. And given he is running unopposed for another four-year term this year, 2020 will be his last. And it will be my last year as well,” he added.

Meanwhile, Negre, who has flown down to watch the final stages of the Hockey India League, ruled out a new scoring system this year. “There will be no new rule changes this year as it’s an Olympic year. There is not enough time to change the rules and ask the teams to adapt to it.”

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