Bhubaneswar: President International Hockey Federation Natrarinder Batra has praised the state government for the preparations for the ensuing Odisha Men’s Hockey World Cup-2018 here at Kalinga Stadium. The coming World Cup is going to be a bench marking event, he observed.

Bhubaneswar is rightly the Sports Capital of India. “The Stadium as I saw has come up as a World Class Stadium. The player’s asylum is best in the world. Other arrangements in the stadium are coming up with world class bench marking standards”. Dr Batra said this in the Governing Body Committee meeting of Hockey World Cup-2018 held under the chairmanship of chief secretary  Aditya Prasad Padhi, here on Saturday. The secretary sports & youth welfare, Vishal Dev, outlined the issues and presented the updates for discussion.
It was decided to organize the stadium inauguration on 10th October with an exhibition match. The grand international event would be marked with a plethora of sport and cultural happenings and memorials.
On 20th November there would be lighting of Peace Flame at Dhauli and March to Kalinga Stadium. The grand
opening ceremony of the World Cup-2018 would be on 27th November at Kalinga Athletic Stadium. The
matches would be televised live from the stadium through large LED screens at Puri sea beach, Janata Maidan,
Ekamra Hat, KIIT, Unit-1 Market and Rourkela. Besides it would also be displayed through LED screens in
different districts of the state. Trophy Showcase canter would tour through different parts of Odisha with hockey
stick to ‘measure the heartbeat’ from 14th October to 14th November. Ekamra Sports Literary Fest would be
organized on 2nd and 3rd November. The city Festival would be jointly organized by Department of Tourism and
BDA. The city festivals would have the events like International Food Festival, Story Telling Festivals, Music,
Dance & Art Festivals on different dates during the World Cup.

The matches for the world cup would be played from 28th November to 16th December. Each day two matches would be played from 5.00 P.M. onwards. Quarter Final would be played on 12th and 13th December. Semi-final and Final matches have been scheduled on 15th and 16th December respectively. Champion teams from 16 countries would participate in the World Cup and Matches would be played in 4 pools. The countries namely Argentina, New Zealand, Spain and France would be in Pool-A, Australia, England, Ireland and China would be in Pool-B, Belgium, India , Canada, and South Africa would be in Pool-C; and Netherlands, Germany, Malaysia and Pakistan would be in Pool-D. The Matches would be played from 28th November to 16th December. Each day two matches would be played from 5.00 P.M. onwards. Quarter Final would be played on 12th and 13th December. Semi-final and Final matches have been scheduled on 15th and 16th December respectively.

Development commissioner R. Balakrishnan, additional chief secretary home  Asit Kumar Tripathy, additional chief secretary finance Tuhin Kanta Pandey , director general police Rajendra Prasad Sharma were present.