ISLAMABAD – The Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) Monday announced Hero MotoCorp Ltd as the title sponsor of the Men’s Asia Cup 2017, to be hosted by the Bangladesh Hockey Federation (BHF).

The 10th edition of the quadrennial event will take place at Maulana Bhashani National Hockey Stadium in Dhaka, Bangladesh for the first time since 1985. The tournament will take place from October 11 to 22 and will be titled the `Hero Asia Cup 2017′, said a press release issued here.

Speaking of this partnership, Pawan Munjal, Chairman, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Hero MotoCorp, said “We aim to build culture of sportsmanship and team spirit among the youth across the world through our various global sports associations.”

Introduced in 1982, the inaugural Men’s Asia Cup was won by Pakistan who also won the next two editions in 1985 and 1989. Since then, India (2003, 2007) and Korea (1993, 1999, 2009 and 2013) have also been champions in the nine editions played so far.

The tournament will witness stiff competition among the top performing teams from across Asia with big stakes at play, the biggest incentive being a direct ticket for the winning team to the World Cup which is scheduled to take place in Bhubaneswar, India from November 28 to December 16, 2018.

This year, the premier continental tournament will feature host nation Bangladesh along with China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Oman and Pakistan.

India is the top ranked team amongst the competing teams at 6th position in the latest FIH Hero World Rankings, while Korea, the current title holders is ranked 13th in the world. World number 12 Malaysia, riding high on an excellent performance in the recent Hockey World League Semi-Final in London, and world number 14 Pakistan round up an exciting mix of teams promising a fiercely disputed tournament ahead.

Pakistan, India, Japan and Bangladesh are in Pool A, while Malaysia, Korea, China and Oman are in Pool B.

AHF President HRH Prince Abdullah Ahmad Shah said “This is a milestone for hockey in Asia, and a vital step forward on the ambitious path the AHF is following to promote, grow and professionalize our sport,” he said.-APP