How Many Times Has India Won The Hockey World Cup? [Facts!]

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The Hockey World Cup is one of the most prominent international sports events that take place every four years. Hosted by England, the 2019 edition was the greatest yet. The sport of hockey, which was almost nonexistent even a decade ago, has seen a revival in popularity, spawning a vogue for all things hockey. As a result, merchandise sales, television coverage, and most notably, attendances, have all increased. This year’s tournament in England saw a record number of fans, with gate receipts in excess of £27M.

The tournament runs for a week, with each nation competing in a round robin format in which they play one game against each of the other teams. The winner of the tournament is decided by the aggregate score of all matches. For India, the last time they won the World Cup was back in 2007. Since then, they’ve become a bit of a Cinderella team, failing to qualify for the event in any of the following tournaments. This year was different, as the 2019 edition was their best ever performance, winning three out of their five games and reaching the semi-finals. Ultimately, however, they lost out to England, whom they had earlier defeated in the group stages.

The Numbers Behind India’s 2019 Hockey World Cup Campaign

The numbers behind India’s 2019 World Cup campaign are staggering. Let’s take a look.

– They played five matches, winning three and drawing the other two. According to the statistics site, the team registered wins over Nepal, Argentina, and France, and a draw against Brazil. These are some pretty historic results for a team that hadn’t won a game in more than a decade.

– Their squad is made up of players from all over India, with several players hailing from smaller towns and villages. Outside of mainland India, Nepal, and Thailand, this is the first time in history that an Indian team has visited a foreign country to play in a World Cup. The Indian Premier League, which is mostly played in India, also saw an increase in prize money this year, with the winner’s purse rising from £1,250 to £2,500. The league was also expanded to include a group stage, which meant more games and more money. For a team that’s never performed well in international competitions, the Indian Premier League has become a bit of a home tournament for them.

Why Has India’s Hockey World Cup Revival Been So Successful?

When it comes to sports in general, and specifically, hockey, India has always been on the periphery. The country is home to cricket, which is widely played and wildly popular, and its national sport. However, until very recently, hockey has been seen as an elitist sport, played by the wealthy, connected, and sometimes colonialist elite. This view is somewhat altered by the fact that several countries, including India, have invested heavily in hockey-related infrastructure over the past few years. There has also been an explosion of popularity across social media and traditional sports media, helping to normalize the sport.

In addition to this, several tournaments have been held in the country, including the Indian Premier League, for which domestic audiences are extremely interested. Finally, India’s improved performance in recent years has resulted in them being regular competitors in international tournaments. They’ve not always performed well, qualifying for the last tournament only twice, but the improvement has been noticeable. This year was no exception, as they not only qualified for the World Cup, but they also went on to win three of their five games, earning them a spot in the semi-finals. Unfortunately, they lost out to England, whom they’d earlier defeated in the group stages. Nevertheless, this is a phenomenal achievement for a country that had seemingly gone nowhere in recent years.

How Has India’s Improved Performance Materialized?

For a while, it seemed as if India’s World Cup campaign was going to be another wasted effort. Despite having qualified for the event, they suffered a defeat in their opening game against England. This, however, was followed by three consecutive wins, including a mammoth 7-0 whitewash of Brazil. As a result of this fantastic run, they moved into the semi-final stage. There, they faced rival Pakistan, whom they’d earlier defeated in the group stages. The game ended in a draw, forcing a tiebreaking match. In the end, India won the toss and elected to bat first, scoring an impressive five goals and drawing the match. This was, however, only the beginning.

India then took on Argentina, another opponent from the group stages. This game was essentially a replay of the preceding match, with India winning by the same scoreline. Their last game was against France. This time, however, they weren’t able to pull off the same fantastic result, with the game ending in a draw. Overall, India finished the tournament as runners-up, losing out to England by a single point. This was a historic tournament for India, as the last time they’d made it beyond the group stages was back in 2007. Since then, they’d become a bit of a Cinderella team, failing to qualify for the event in any of the subsequent tournaments. This year was different, as they not only managed to qualify, but they also went on to win three of their five games, earning them a spot in the semi-finals. Ultimately, they lost out to England in the race for second place.

What Does The Future Hold For India?

After the World Cup, India will have a month off before returning to pre-season preparations. They’ll then head to Australia for a tri-series with New Zealand and England. The last time India played in Australia was back in 2008, with the hosts winning the four-match series 3-1. Unfortunately, things haven’t turned out so well for India since then, with them failing to reach the semi-finals in any of the following tournaments. This time around, they’ll be looking to make up for lost time. The Australian series will be vitally important for both the short and long-term prospects of India’s national team. In the short term, the tri-series will afford them valuable match practice, while in the long term, it’ll set the scene for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, which will be contested by both Australia and India.

Overall, it’s been an eventful month for India, which saw the country achieve a lot. They qualified for, and participated in, the World Cup, winning three out of their five group games. Since then, they’ve taken on Argentina, England, and France in the semi-finals. Overall, this was a great tournament for India, putting the team in the semi-finals for the first time in more than a decade. As a result of this, India’s hockey world cup revival has been incredibly successful, with the country making massive strides in the sport in the past year. It’ll be interesting to see how India’s performance in the coming months pans out.

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