Sam Ward scored twice on his debut as World No. 5 England stunned five-time reigning champions Australia 3-1, while higher-ranked Belgium defeated Pakistan 2-1 in their Pool A matches on the opening day of the Hero Champions Trophy hockey tournament, here on Saturday.
Just like the entire world, the Australian hockey team has also been affected by country mate and cricketer Phillip Hughes sudden death and national coach Graham Reid said that the tragic accident made everyone "realise how fickle life can be".
Winter has set in but the relatively high temperatures prevalent here, especially in the day time, have become a major concern for the European teams participating in the FIH Champions Trophy which will start from on Saturday.
Belgium captain Dohmen John-John is aware about the tough competition that awaits them in the FIH Champions Trophy but said the Red Lions are determined to give their best in the eight-nation tournament to be held here from December 6-14.
India's High Performance Director Roelant Oltmans on Tuesday said the hosts are determined to give a tough fight to their opponents and are geared up to face world no. 3 Germany in their opening match of the FIH Champions Trophy to be held here from December 6-14.
Belgium's star striker Tom Boon on Tuesday predicted a quarterfinal clash against India in the FIH Champions Trophy and hopes to come out on top against the hosts if it lines up they way he expects in the eight-nation tournament to be held here from December 6-14.
The relatively hot weather conditions here will be a challenge for the overseas teams during the prestigious FIH Champions Trophy, which begins at the Kalinga Stadium on December 6, feels the skippers of Australia and England sides.
With the FIH Champions Trophy a little more than two weeks away, the Pakistani hockey players are headed for a showdown with their national federation (PHF) over its failure to award them new contracts and non-payment of dues.
High on confidence but ravaged by injuries, the Indian hockey team face a stiff challenge against reigning Olympic champions Germany in their third preliminary league match of the FIH Champions Trophy here on Tuesday.