India, Pakistan in same pool of Hockey World League Semifinal 2017 | other sports | Hindustan Times
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India, Pakistan in same pool of Hockey World League Semifinal 2017

other sports Updated: Dec 03, 2016 16:52 IST

The India men’s hockey team will take on arch-rivals Pakistan in the opening match of the Hockey World League Semifinal 2017 on June 18.(PTI)

Asian champions India have been clubbed alongside arch-rivals Pakistan in the same pool in the men’s Hockey World League (HWL) Semifinal 2017 to be held here. The HWL Semifinal, a qualifying event for the 2018 World Cup, will be held from June 15 to 25 at Lee Valley’s Hockey and Tennis Centre in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, and will feature 10 of the world’s best men’s hockey teams.

Six teams have already been confirmed so far for this showcase event, including hosts England, Rio Olympic champions Argentina, reigning European champions Netherlands, India, Korea and Pakistan.

Another four teams will qualify from the Hockey World League Round 2 events taking place between January and April next year. In the HWL Semifinal, June 18 has been dubbed ‘Super Sunday’ as the first game of the day features India playing against Pakistan.

With 11 Olympic titles between them this has historically been one of the fiercest rivalries in the game and it shows no sign of letting up.

India had the edge at the 2016 Asian Champions Trophy and Pakistan will be out for revenge in what will be an action-packed encounter.

Following that up will be hosts England taking on Olympic champions Argentina. Besides Pakistan, the other confirmed team in India’s pool -- Pool B -- is the Netherlands.

A lot is at stake for teams participating in these Hockey World League Semifinals. Whilst vital FIH Hero World Ranking points will be awarded depending on final standings, the top teams from each Semifinal will qualify for the 2018 Hockey World Cups in India (men) and England (women) in addition to the Hockey World League Finals taking place in India (men) and New Zealand (women) later in 2017.