Bangladesh will play a warm-up match against Japan at Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium in Dhaka Sunday afternoon, ahead of the much-awaited Hockey Asia Cup 2017, scheduled to get underway in the capital on Wednesday.
All the participating teams are scheduled to arrive in Dhaka by Wednesday with Japan expected to land at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport Saturday midnight.
Japan will have their first training session at the match-venue one-and-a-half hours before the practice game.
Among other teams, India are likely to set foot in the morning, Korea, China, Oman and Pakistan in the afternoon and Malaysia at night.
India, Pakistan, China and Oman will stay at Fars Hotel, Korea, Malaysia and Bangladesh at Hotel Purbani while Japan will reside at Hotel Sonargaon.
Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Sports Press Association organised a programme titled "Hockey Stars: 1985 and 1917" at the Bangladesh Olympic Association auditorium Saturday where the Bangladesh team of 1985 was felicitated.
The stars of 1985 including former captain Shahabuddin Chakladar, Osman Gani, Alamgir Chunnu, Kamrul Islam Kismat, Khwaja Daniel, Jamil Parvez Lulu and Abdullah Piru were present on the occasion and handed autographed hockey sticks to the current national players.
Three days earlier, the official jersey of Bangladesh for the 10th Hockey Asia Cup was unveiled through a star-studded programme held at the BOA auditorium.
Head coach Mahbub Harun is hopeful of putting on a good show at their backyard.
“In the last couple of months we placed the utmost importance on our team plan, set-play and fitness. We are not worried with our opponents, rather we are focused on our abilities. We will be a fighting team on the field,” said Harun.
Skipper Russel Mahmud Jimmy is focused upon rectifying their mistakes committed during training.
“We have been playing for a long time together, the Asia Cup is the biggest tournament in our home ground, we are ready to perform to our best. We will be careful not to repeat the mistakes,” said Jimmy.
Bangladesh Hockey Federation president Air Marshal Abu Esrar, general secretary Abdus Sadeque and vice president and tournament committee chairman Shafiullah al Munir were present at the jersey-unveiling ceremony.
“With the red and green, I believe the players would be transformed into a group of indomitable soldiers, fighting for the country and Bangladesh hockey,” said Sadeque, who also happens to be a former national captain.
Meanwhile, Esrar said, “When the time gets tough, perfect team-spirit and self confidence is the key to proceeding, the red and green jersey is expected to unite the team to a unit.”