Bangalore, Sept 21: Defending champions Haryana have been drawn in Group A along with Maharashtra, Puducherry, Bengal and Bhopal in the 2nd Hockey India Senior Men National Championship to be held here in Bangalore from Sept 23 to Oct 2.
As many as 34 Hockey India's (HI) member units have confirmed their participation in the Championship which will be played on a league cum knockout basis on the artificial pitches at Hockey Stadium, Langford Road and MEG AstroTurf at MEG Centre, Banaswadi Road.
The inaugural match shall be played between Chhattisgarh and Arunachal Pradesh in Pool C on Sept 23.
Hockey India Selectors and the Government Observer will watch the performance of players to select the probables for the next National coaching camps for the preparation of the Indian team for the Champions Trophy in Melbourne, Australia from Dec 1 to 9 and the 2nd Asian Champions Trophy in Doha, Qatar from Dec 14 to 21.
Hockey India will provide host Hockey Karnataka a grant of Rs 16 lakh for organising the Championship, a media release from HI said.
The teams have been divided into eight Pools.
Pool A: Haryana, Maharashtra, Puducherry, Bengal, Hockey Bhopal
Pool B: Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Mizoram
Pool C: Punjab, Services, Jammu and Kashmir, Chhattisgarh, Arunachal Pradesh
Pool D: Jharkhand, Chandigarh, Uttarakhand, Goa, Sashastra Seema Bal
Pool E: Air India, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Nagaland
Pool F: Indian Railways, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Tripura
Pool G: Odisha, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat
Pool H: Combined Universities, Bihar, Manipur, Andaman and Nicobar