Bangladesh national hockey team will leave for New Delhi on Tuesday to participate in the second round of the World Hockey League which begins on February 18.
Having qualified for the second round by becoming undefeated champions in Round 1 in September last year, Bangladesh are targeting one of the two qualifying spots for the World Cup from the six-team group.
The task however is a very difficult one as Bangladesh will face favourites India, China, Ireland, Oman and Fiji in the group. But, the coach of Bangladesh, Mahbub Haroon and captain Zahid Hossain are quietly confident that they can produce some good results in the competition.
"Even if we haven't played any practice matches, we've had a month of good training. We might be lacking a bit in fitness, but we have good skilled players, sharpened by the practice. Ireland and China are our main competitors as India are considered too good. If we can beat any of those two, we might be through," hoped Haroon at a press conference arranged in this regard at the Bangladesh Hockey Federation conference room yesterday.
Captain and goalkeeper Zahid felt that the first match against Ireland on February 18 would be a key match, and if they could overcome that hurdle, things would be easy for them.
After the Ireland match, Bangladesh will take on china on the 20th, Oman on the 21st, Fiji on the 23rd and the hosts on the 24th.
The trip is being sponsored by United Commercial Bank Limited as they will provide Tk 10 lakh. Bangladesh team will fly to Kolkata on Tuesday before they grab a train to the Indian capital. It may be mentioned here that team was supposed to go by road the whole way before legendary player Abdus Sadek intervened to manage sponsors for the plane fare.