An eight-team field for the 2023 Sultan of Johor Cup 

JOHOR BAHRU: The 2023 Sultan of Johor Cup will see an extended field of eight teams for the first time since its inception. The tournament, which was inaugurated in 2011, had always fielded six teams.

Malaysia as host will battle with defending champions India, Australia, Great Britain, South Africa, New Zealand, Pakistan, and Germany for the coveted junior trophy. This year’s tournament will be held at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium in Johor Bahru from October 27 to November 4.

Seven of the teams that will be participating in the Sultan of Johor Cup will also feature in the Junior World Cup which will be hosted by Malaysia at the Bukit Jalil Hockey Stadium.

Only Great Britain has failed to make the cut to the Junior World Cup.

Johor Hockey Association (JHA) president Datuk Manjit Majd Abdullah said that this year’s tournament will be mini–Junior World Cup with seven teams finalising their preparation for the main event in December.

“This is a milestone for the tournament. We believe that having eight teams will provide a greater challenge for the teams and fans will get to see the best of junior hockey. It must be noted that all the seven invited teams are no strangers to this tournament as they have all participated in the past.

“We are happy that they have accepted our invitation to make this year’s tournament, the 11th in the series, a success,” he added.

Germany, who last played in the 2012 edition, are making a return to the tournament. They emerged champions in their debut year.

South Africa are also making their second appearance in the tournament after their debut last year. They finished in fifth place. Another team making a return to the tournament is Pakistan, who last played in 2016. They were runners up in the tournament, losing to Australia in the final.

Manjit said that all preparation for the tournament is on-going and that the draw and fixtures will be released by the organiser later next month.