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Two host stadiums in a state that is now synonymous with hockey

Two host stadiums in a state that is now synonymous with hockey

New Delhi, Jan 8 (SocialNews.XYZ) The 15th edition of the FIH Hockey Mens World Cup is all set to kickstart in Odisha in just six days.

With each passing day, the anticipation around the event keeps growing and it is pretty much visible to everybody.


The mineral-rich state's relationship with hockey dates back several decades. Odisha has produced over a hundred national-level players for the Indian team, including Dilip Tirkey, Ignace Tirkey, Lazarus Barla, Jyoti Sunita Kullu, and Sunita Lakra, among many others.

The present Indian men's and women's national squads also include many Odisha players, including Amit Rohidas, Shilanand Lakra, Deep Grace Ekka, Nilam Xess and Namita Toppo.

Over the past two decades, the Odisha government has also actively and heavily invested in international hockey, hosting various large-scale multi-nation events like the FIH World Cup, FIH Men's Junior World Cup, FIH Series Finals, FIH World League, FIH Champions Trophy and the FIH Hockey Pro League.

Before the start of the mega sporting spectacle, IANS brings you the venues where the world's best hockey teams will compete for the coveted trophy.

Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar

The Kalinga Stadium is one of the two venues for the FIH Men's World Cup 2023. The stadium gets its name 'Kalinga' from the historical region in the east of India of the same name, which encompasses the modern-day state of Odisha in entirety, along with parts of two other Indian states: Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

The Kalinga Hockey Stadium is a part of the multi-purpose complex collectively referred to as Kalinga International Stadium, which also includes an eight-lane synthetic athletics track, various high-performance centres, a football stadium, an Olympic swimming facility and plenty more.

It houses resources for athletics, football, hockey, tennis, table tennis, basketball, volleyball, sport climbing and swimming.

The citizens of Bhubaneswar are well-known in the hockey world for the vast numbers they turn out in for international hockey matches hosted in the city.

Many players from various hockey-playing nations also describe Bhubaneswar as their favorite place to play hockey due to the atmosphere created by the crowds.

The Kalinga Hockey Stadium has become a global hub for hockey for nearly a decade now. The stadium had hosted its first major international tournament when it was awarded the hosting rights to the Champions Trophy in 2014.

The success of the event prompted further action, as the 2017 Hockey World League Finals saw the best eight teams in the world converge in Odisha to play in front of a packed audience. A year later, the Kalinga Stadium took centre stage once again as the premier men's hockey tournament, the FIH Hockey Men's World Cup, was played in Bhubaneswar.

Since then, the Kalinga Stadium has been the home of the Indian hockey team, with not only the men's and women's teams training in the stadium, but it is also where they have played their home matches during the FIH Hockey Pro League.

In 2021, the FIH Men's Junior World Cup was also played in the Kalinga Stadium.

Birsa Munda International Hockey Stadium, Rourkela

The Birsa Munda International Hockey Stadium, in of Rourkela, is one of the two venues for the FIH Men's World Cup 2023.

The stadium is named after Birsa Munda, a tribal freedom fighter and folk hero who spearheaded the millenarian movement that arose in the Bengal Presidency in the late 19th century, making him an important figure in the history of the Independence movement.

Rourkela is one of the biggest cities in Odisha, well-known for being home to various industrial establishments, including one of India's first steel plants.

The city also occupies a central position in the Sundargarh district, in the eastern hockey belt of Odisha, which has produced scores of top hockey talents for India, including former India skipper Dilip Tirkey, who is the most capped player in the history of Indian men's hockey, and currently serves as the president of Hockey India.

The aim is for the stadium to provide a much-needed boost to the hockey infrastructure in the district, paving the way for future stars who can get access to international standard facilities within their own region.

The Birsa Munda International Hockey Stadium has been built on 15 acres of land on the Biju Patnaik University of Technology campus in Rourkela, which is often referred to as the "Steel City of Odisha".

The stadium will now replace the Kalinga Hockey Stadium as the largest stadium in Odisha, with a seating capacity of 21,000.

Source: IANS

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Two host stadiums in a state that is now synonymous with hockey

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