In what promises to be a rollicking start to next year’s Hero Honda FIH hockey World Cup, hosts India will take on arch-rivals Pakistan in the opening day of the mega event to be held here from February 28 to March 13.

According to event itinerary released by the International Hockey Federation today, India will play Pakistan in the third Pool B match of the opening day, while Spain will take on South Africa in the tournament opener followed by the encounter between England and Australia.

India will next play Australia on March 2, and then take on Spain on March 4, followed by encounter against England on March 6 and finally round off their Pool stage with the game against South Africa on March 8.

Meanwhile, Olympic champion Germany will commence their defence on the second day on March 1 against Korea in Pool A. The day will also see New Zealand taking on Canada and the Netherlands facing Argentina.

The semifinals of the tournament are scheduled for March 11, while the final will be played on March 13.

Hero Honda FIH World Cup 2010 schedule:

Pool A: Argentina, Canada, Germany, Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand.

Pool B: Australia, England, India, Pakistan, South Africa, Spain.

February 28, 2010: 16:35 B South Africa vs Spain, 18:35 B Australia vs England, 20:35 B India vs Pakistan.

March 1, 2010: 16:35 A New Zealand vs Canada, 18:35 A Germany vs Korea, 20:35 A Netherlands vs Argentina.

March 2, 2010: 16:35 B South Africa vs England, 18:35 B Pakistan vs Spain, 20:35 B India vs Australia.

March 3, 2010: 16:35 A Canada vs Germany, 18:35 A Argentina vs Korea, 20:35 A New Zealand vs Netherlands.

March 4, 2010: 16:35 B South Africa vs Australia, 18:35 B England vs Pakistan, 20:35 B India vs Spain.

March 5, 2010: 16:35 A Korea vs New Zealand, 18:35 A Netherlands vs Canada, 20:35 A Germany vs Argentina.

March 6, 2010: 16:35 B Australia vs Spain, 18:35 B South Africa vs Pakistan, 20:35 B India vs England.

March 7, 2010: 16:35 A Korea vs Canada, 18:35 A New Zealand vs Argentina, 20:35 A Germany vs Netherlands.

March 8, 2010: 16:35 B Spain vs England, 18:35 B Australia vs Pakistan, 20:35 B India vs South Africa.

March 9, 2010: 16:35 A Germany vs New Zealand, 18:35 A Netherlands vs Korea, 20:35 A Canada vs Argentina.

March 10, 2010: Rest Day.

March 11, 2010: 15:35 Clas.11—12 6th Pool A vs 6th Pool B, 18:05 Semifinal 1st Pool A vs 2nd Pool B, 20:35 Semifinal 1st Pool B vs 2nd Pool A.

March 12, 2010: 15:35 Clas. 9—10 5th Pool A vs 5th Pool B, 18:05 Clas. 7—8 4th Pool A vs 4th Pool B, 20:35 Clas. 5—6 3rd Pool A vs 3rd Pool B.

Saturday March 13, 2010: 15:35 Bronze medal match, 18:05 Final.

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