The Indian hockey team will have to wait till the end of January to know when it will be able to start training at the National Stadium, the venue for the World Cup starting on February 28.
Indian chief coach, Jose Brasa, wants his boys to reach New Delhi as soon as possible so as to make up for their lack of match practice before the mega event by playing some warm-up games at the World Cup venue. But before that, he would also like the team to have some training sessions at the National Stadium to get acclimatised to the conditions, especially under the lights.
However, the stadium is only “95 per cent complete”, according to a senior Sports Ministry official as of Friday and it will take at least a couple of weeks to finish the remaining work. “The stadium work is 95 per cent complete and only minor work remains to be finished. The turf is ready and the lighting is in place,” said Hardip Singh Kingra, joint secretary in the Ministry of Sports.
Kingra said the stadium would be ready well before the World Cup and a final decision on handing it over to Hockey India will be taken by the end of this month.