Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], October 8 (ANI): The Indian women's hockey team was elated on Friday as the International Hockey Federation (FIH) announced that India and Spain will be a part of the FIH Hockey Pro League season 3 after Australia and New Zealand pulled out.
The team expressed excitement about joining the world's best teams to compete for the coveted title this season which kicks off on October 13 with the first match between Olympic Champions The Netherlands and Belgium.
"This is great news for us. We have seen how much the exposure at the FIH Hockey Pro League helped our male counterparts from the Indian team," skipper Rani said in a Hockey India release.
"They got to play the best teams of the world, and I believe that helped them take their game to the next level. Likewise, the Indian women's team is also looking forward to make the most out of this opportunity. The entire team is excited," she added.
Savita, on the other hand, said that this exposure will help increase the talent pool in the Indian team.
"We have some very talented junior players coming into the core group. Playing regular matches against top teams in the FIH Hockey Pro League will help the team try different combination of players ahead of important tournaments like the Asian Games in 2022 and the FIH Women's World Cup in 2023," said Savita.
"We believe this experience in the Pro League will help us improve our game further," stated the goalkeeper who won the FIH Goalkeeper of the Year award.
Youngster Sharmila Devi who won the FIH Rising Star of the Year also stated that this will be a great opportunity for young players like her in the team.
"Playing top teams of the world will provide youngsters like me great exposure. Something we wanted to work on before the Asian Games was to perform under pressure. The FIH Hockey Pro League will be a great experience in that aspect and we are very excited about it," she said. (ANI)