Gold Coast: Reigning silver medallists India will open their campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan in a mouth-watering men's hockey contest of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
According to the schedule announced by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) on Tuesday, Asian champions India are placed in a relatively easy but tricky Pool B alongside Pakistan, last edition's bronze medallists England, Malaysia and Wales.
Five-time champions and hosts Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and Scotland feature in Pool A.
The Indian men's team will play Pakistan in its first match on 7 April, followed by games against Wales (8 April), Malaysia (10 April) and England (11 April).
Meanwhile, the Indian women's team have been clubbed in Pool A, which consists of current silver medallists England, South Africa, Malaysia and Wales.
Title holders Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, Canada and Ghana are placed in Pool B of the women's competition.
The Indian women's team will play the tournament opener against Wales on 5 April before it squares off against Malaysia (6 April), followed by England (8 April) and South Africa (10 April).
In the men's competition, Australia has been reigning supreme when it comes to the Commonwealth Games — five editions, five victories — so there will be a queue of nations lining up for a crack at the title, including recently crowned Asian champions India, who have been runners-up in the past two editions.
In the women's competition, current champions Australia will want to impress in front of the home crowd, while England and New Zealand will both look to get their names on the trophy for the first time.
Two teams from each pool in men's and women's section will qualify directly for the semi-finals while the rest will play classification matches.
The semi-finals in the women's competition will be held on 12 April while the men's last four matches will be played a day later on 13 April.
The bronze medal as well as the final matches of both the men's and women's competition will be played on 14 April.
The 11th Commonwealth Games will be held in Gold Coast, Australia from 5-14 April next year.
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Updated Date: Nov 28, 2017 12:17:36 IST