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Black Sticks begin Commonwealth Games hockey campaign on July 29

The Black Sticks, Ghana’s men’s field hockey team will begin its campaign at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games against England on Friday, July 29, 2022, while the women’s team will push off against India on the same day.

The Black Sticks women who would be making their second consecutive appearance at the Commonwealth Games after competing in the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games held in Australia have been drawn in Group A alongside England, India, Canada and Wales.

The Black Sticks women after India will play England on July 30, Wales on August 1 and Canada on August 2.

The Black Sticks men have been pooled in Group B for their Commonwealth Games debut with the same teams and will play England on July 29, India on July 31, Canada on August 1 and Wales on August 3.

Both teams qualified after they fell within the top 10 ranked Commonwealth nations on the International Hockey Federation’s (FIH) rankings.

The national female team is currently ranked second in Africa and 30th in the world while the men are ranked third on the continent and 34th in the world.

The Black Sticks men’s qualification was announced after India failed to confirm their participation in the upcoming multi-sports event among the Commonwealth Nations.

Africa would be represented by South Africa, Ghana and Kenya in the women’s category while South Africa and Ghana would also represent the continent in the men’s division.

The 23rd edition of the Commonwealth Games would be held from July 28 to August 8 in Birmingham under the theme; “Games for Everyone.”

About 5,054 athletes are expected to compete in 20 sporting disciplines.

Hockey at Commonwealth Games 2022

The final of the women’s event will be held on Sunday 7 August and will be part of a super Sunday for women’s sport at the Games, with the final of the netball tournament and the final of the first-ever Commonwealth Games women’s cricket T20 tournament being held on the same day.

The men’s final will be played on Monday 8 August, just a few hours before the Closing Ceremony.

There will be 54 hockey matches in total, with 40 group games, six classification matches, four semi-finals, four medal matches and all of these matches will be played at the University of Birmingham, the official competition venue for hockey at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The 20 hockey teams taking part in the Games will also use the University of Birmingham’s world-class hockey facilities for training until competition gets underway and then the teams will be able to make use of the newly upgraded pitch at Wyndley Leisure Centre in Sutton Coldfield for training.

Matt Kidson, Director of Sport for Birmingham 2022, said: “We are excited to be unveiling the official hockey match schedule today as it brings us another step closer to the start of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. It’s going to be an exciting tournament with an impressive line-up of teams, featuring all of the medallists from the last edition of the Commonwealth Games.

“Tickets have already been selling well for hockey and now the group matches have been revealed, we expect to see an upsurge in sales to hockey fans who’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of this schedule.”

FIH CEO, Thierry Weil, said: “After the reveal of the participating teams last week, the publication of the match schedule is another really important milestone on the road to the upcoming Commonwealth Games! On behalf of FIH, I encourage all fans to buy tickets early to make sure they will attend the matches from the splendid Birmingham 2022 venue!”

Credit: Graphic Sports

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