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China's World Cup team is made up of 18 players from one province

Press Trust of India  |  Bhubaneswar 

Unusual as it may sound but China, for all its sporting culture, provinces and size, had to pick all its 18 World Cup-bound players from one province, the name of which sounds similar to that of its neighbouring country.

Very few people know that the country's entire 18-member men's team belongs to just one province -- Autonomous Region. is made up of 34 provinces.

China's men's team is making its debut at here and its best result in the sport till date is a silver medal finish at the 2006 Doha

What has caught the attention is that all the 18 players representing in the ongoing hails from the province.

Hockey is not that popular in It is mostly common among the Daur people, who have been playing a traditional sport called 'Beikou', a game similar to field hockey, for about 1,000 years.

The modern game started in China in the mid 1970s.

"Yes, all players from the team are from They all are from just one club and one province," China's South Korean told PTI.

Kim, who guided his own country to a silver medal in the 2000 Sydney and mentored China to beat and before claiming the Doha Asiad silver, has got a wealth of experience as a

"Hockey is most popular in that region of China. Hockey is similar to a traditional sport of that region named 'Beikou', so these players have easily adapted to the game," he added.

China will make its debut against England in a Pool B match on Friday and the said his players have the capability to cause an upset or two in the tournament if they turn out on the turf without any fear.

"They have the fitness. They have the mental strength. The only problem with our players is that they have very less experience of playing against strong teams. That's the only weakness," Kim said.

"If they (Chinese players) are worried and doubtful on the pitch, they can't do anything. If they are confident, they can do something," he added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, November 29 2018. 19:30 IST
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