The Men’s Hockey World Cup 2023 began on Wednesday evening at the beautiful Barabati Stadium in Cuttack with a colorful opening ceremony witnessed by thousands of hockey lovers from across the country and abroad.
Bhubaneswar: The Men’s Hockey World Cup 2023 began on Wednesday evening at the beautiful Barabati Stadium in Cuttack with a colorful opening ceremony witnessed by thousands of hockey lovers from across the country and abroad.
Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, FIH President Tyeb Ikram and Hockey India President Dilip Tirkey were present at the ceremony to welcome the members of all the 16 participating teams.
In his address, Ikram congratulated Odisha for hosting the prestigious tournament twice in a row and called the state the ‘Land of Hockey’. Odisha also hosted the 2018 World Cup.
Thakur thanked the Odisha government for successfully hosting the event with grandeur and said that the enthusiasm of the people of India and the state reflects their love for the game.
He said that the Center will always support the states to host such sporting events.
Patnaik said that Odisha has long been known for its hospitality and hoped that every visitor would take away good memories of their stay in the state.
He thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Central Government for supporting Odisha in hosting the Men’s Hockey World Cup for two consecutive times.
A colorful cultural program was presented to the packed stadium before and after the hour-long opening ceremony.
The celebrations began with a tribal dance form of the state which was a combination of at least six local dance forms choreographed by eminent dance guru Aruna Mohanty.
Odia singers Sniti Mishra, Rituraj Mohanty, Lisa Mishra and actor husband-wife Sabyasachi Mishra and Archita Sahu, among many others enthralled the audience.
16 fan parks were set up at strategic locations across the city where thousands of hockey lovers and enthusiasts watched the opening ceremony on giant screens.
Hundreds of Bollywood singers and local artistes sang the Hockey World Cup theme song which was composed by music director Pritam who also performed on stage along with some other singers.
The matches will be held from January 13 to January 29 at two venues, the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Rourkela and the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.
Rourkela will have 20 matches while 24 matches including the final will be played in Bhubaneswar.
Colorful inauguration of Hockey World in Odisha, thousands of hockey lovers from country and abroad witness the ceremony
Story first published: Thursday, January 12, 2023, 20:17 [IST]