The Asian Champions Trophy hockey tournament will be held here from August 3 to 12 as India hosts the event for the first time. The seventh edition of the prestigious sporting event will serve as a precursor to the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China in September.

Making the announcement, Tamil Nadu Sports Minister Udhayanidhi Stalin said it was good that top-flight hockey was returning to the city which was once the capital of the sport in South India.

“It is indeed a great pleasure and honour to host the Hero Asian Champions Trophy 2023 in Chennai, which was once the capital of hockey in South India with many reputed domestic and international events being held here. I believe hosting the Hero Asian Champions Trophy here will further revive the sport in the region, and watching top teams in Asia will also inspire the younger generation to take up hockey as a career,” he told reporters here.

Chennai last hosted an international hockey event in 2007 when the Asia Cup was held and the venue, Mayor Radhakrishnan stadium, proved to be lucky for the home team which clinched the title beating Korea 7-2 in the final.

businessline earlier reported how beyond cricket, CSK and tennis, the city has rapidly become the playfield for chess, cycling and surfing.

Apart from India, a three-time winner of the Asian Champions Trophy, defending champion South Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, Japan and China will be taking part in the tournament.

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Organisers said that Pakistan was yet to confirm its participation and added that "adequate security would be provided if Pakistan participates in the event."

They said China and Pakistan would confirm their participation by April 25. Secretary General of Hockey India (HI) Bhola Nath Singh said HI officials had already visited the venue in Chennai and taken note of the ongoing preparations for the tournament.