India is all set to host the FIH Men's Hockey World Cup 2023, which gets underway on January 13.
A total of 16 countries will feature in the tournament with matches at two venues in Odisha - the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, and the Birsa Munda International Hockey Stadium in Rourkela.
Here's ESPN's handy guide to the 2023 Hockey World Cup:
Didn't Odisha host the last World Cup too?
Yes, back in 2018, when the entire tournament was held in Bhubaneswar. In fact, this is the third time in four editions that India is hosting the men's Hockey World Cup, with the 2010 edition having been held in New Delhi.
Who won last ?
Belgium are the defending champions. In 2018, they defeated the Netherlands in a shootout in the final. The Men's Hockey World Cup's most successful team - Pakistan - have not qualified for this edition.
The 2018 final was the first since the turn of the century that didn't feature Australia in it, but they will come into this tournament as one of the firm favourites, alongside defending champions Belgium.
When are India's matches?
India, coached by Australia Graham Reid, are in Pool D, along with Spain, England and Wales. India open their campaign with two matches in Rourkela against Spain and England before moving to Bhubaneswar to face Wales in their final pool clash.
Bhubaneswar will also host the knockout stages of the tournament, with the final scheduled on January 29, while the semi-finals will be played on January 27.
India vs Spain on 13 January at 7 PM
India vs England on 15 January at 7 PM
India vs Wales on 19 January at 7 PM
Who are the other teams in the tournament?
Pool A: Australia, Argentina, France and South Africa.
Pool B: Belgium, Germany, South Korea and Japan.
Pool C: Netherlands, New Zealand, Malaysia and Chile.
What is the tournament format?
The top team from each pool will make it through to the quarterfinals. The second and third-placed teams from each pool will play the cross-over round, to decide the remaining four quarterfinalists.
What is India's squad?
Goalkeepers: PR Sreejesh, Krishan Pathak
Defenders: Jarmanpreet Singh, Surender Kumar, Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar, Amit Rohidas, Nilam Sanjeep Xess
Midfielders: Manpreet Singh, Hardik Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Shamsher Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Akashdeep Singh
Forwards: Mandeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Abhishek, Sukhjeet Singh
Alternate Players: Rajkumar Pal, Jugraj Singh
Who is India's captain?
Defender and drag-flick specialist Harmanpreet Singh will lead the hosts at the tournament, having taken over the reins from Manpreet Singh last year. Manpreet had led India to a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, and will continue to have a big role to play in the squad.
What is India's history at the Men's Hockey World Cup?
Since winning the World Cup in 1975, the Indian men have never finished in the top four. In the previous edition, India lost to the Netherlands in the quarterfinals, conceding a fourth-quarter goal to lose 2-1. India had, in fact, topped their pool in 2018, which was a creditable achievement in a section that had eventual champions Belgium in it.
Since 2018, Reid's men have improved significantly, with a bronze medal in the Olympics followed by a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games.
India lost the semifinal to Belgium in Tokyo, and were soundly beaten by Australia in Birmingham in the CWG final. Once again, it will be those two teams that stand in the hosts' way, as they look for a historic campaign.
Where to watch the Men's Hockey World Cup 2023?
The Star Sports Network will broadcast all the matches on TV in India. The live streaming of the games will be available on Disney+ Hotstar.