India to tour The Netherlands to prepare for World Cup
Ranchi: Aiming to prepare in the best possible way for this year`s World Cup, the Indian hockey team will train at the event`s host city -- The Hague, Netherlands -- from April 11 to 19.
India had earlier decided to skip the Azlan Shah Cup to be held in Ipoh, Malaysia from March 13 to 23 to tour a European nation keeping in mind the preparations for the World Cup.
Indian hockey`s High Performance Director Roelant Oltmans said India will play five to six matches during their nine-day tour.
"It was a conscious decision to miss the Azlan Shah Cup and go for a tour to Europe to give the players an idea what to expect during the World Cup," Oltmans told PTI.
"And so understandably there was no better choice than The Hague where the World Cup is scheduled. We will tour The Hague from April 11 to 19," he said.
"During the tour we will play top European teams like Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and one or two local club teams."
The World Cup will be held in The Hague from May 31 to June 15 in relatively cooler climatic conditions than tropical Malaysia.