Dhaka – The Bangladesh Women’s Hockey team is set to play their first match against a foreign opponent, the Sports Authority of India’s (SAI)-National Women’s Hockey Academy team on Tuesday at Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium here.
The match will kick-off at 4 pm (BST).Bangladesh Women’s Hockey team will play six preparatory matches against the Indian side ahead of their maiden Women’s Junior (U-21) AHF Cup Asia Cup Hockey Qualifiers scheduled to be held in Singapore from September 9–15 this year.
The Sports Authority of India (SAI) hockey team, under the banner of National Women’s Hockey Academy team will arrive Dhaka on Monday to play six friendly matches against Bangladesh Women’s Hockey team.
The 2nd match is scheduled for August 22 at 4 pm, 3rd match on August 23 at 7 pm, 4th match on August 25 at 4 pm, 5th match on August 26 at 7 pm and the 6th and last match on August 28 at 4 pm, all at the Maulana Bhasani National Stadium here.
The part-time Indian new advisory coach of Bangladesh Women’s Hockey Team Ajay Kumar Bansal already in the capital to prepare Bangladesh girls for their maiden appearance in the Asia Cup Hockey Qualifiers.
“SAI-National Women’s Academy Hockey team is a good team, they [Bangladesh] will play against a good opponent, definitely, they will learn many things – techniques, tactics, skills and other behaviors on the pitch,” Bansal said.
“Bangladeshi girls don’t know anything about the condition of international matches or tournaments. I am scared when they will go to the Asia Cup, how they will feel. The environment will be different there. So, I think when they will play against Indian team, they will come through into little bit realization of the tournament or the matches,” he further added.
While asking about his observation, the Indian coach replied, “The girls [Bangladesh] are very talented. But, they need some exposure. They have not gone through any tournament or anything. They are just practicing only. I am very hopeful for this team. If they get proper training and exposure, they will be the best team in future.”
In the Women’s Junior (U-21) AHF Cup Asia Cup Hockey Qualifiers in Singapore from September 9-15, Bangladesh put in Pool B with Hong Kong China, Nepal and Sri Lanka while Pool A team comprises Chinese Taipei, Singapore and Uzbekistan.
The top two teams of the qualifying round will earned rights to play in the next year’s final round of the Women’s Junior Asia Cup, also a qualifying meet for the Women’s Hockey Junior World Cup 2021.UNB