|The Commonwealth Games hockey draw is:-
Pool 1 Australia, Scotland, South Africa, Malaysia
Pool 2 New Zealand, England, India, Canada
Pool 3 Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Barbados
Pool 4 Canada, Wales, England, Pakistan
Hockey is believed to be the oldest ball-and-stick game in the world, dating back over 4,000 years. The Greeks, Arabs, Persians and Romans all played a type of hockey and it is also thought the Aztec Indians of South America played the game long before versions like hurling and shinty developed in Britain in medieval times.
But hockey as we now know it was established in the early part of the 19th century with Blackheath, in south-east London, regarded as the game's first major club. The pitch, facilities and equipment were rudimentary and the 'ball' was a solid cube of black rubber, not unlike the puck used in ice hockey today.
The Blackheath members were responsible for drawing up the first set of rules and after the formation of the Hockey Association in 1886, the game expanded rapidly. This was due in no small part to the presence of British soldiers overseas and nowhere was the game embraced more enthusiastically than India, whose players were to dominate world hockey for a large part of the 20th century.
And hockey also played a significant role in the development of women's team sports in Britain and overseas. In the mid-19th century, the possibility of women being involved in strenuous athletic activity, let alone team games, was regarded as a complete non-starter - until hockey came along.
By the turn of the century, hockey was reported to be 'the only proper team sport for women' and was also being played in New Zealand, South Africa, The Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland. Hockey made its debut as an Olympic sport in London in 1908 but it was strictly a men only affair with women's hockey not featuring until the Moscow Games of 1980.
In 1998, hockey was included as a Commonwealth Games event for the first time in Kuala Lumpur and Australia struck gold in both the men's and women's competitions.
Australia beat England 8-1 in the women's final with New Zealand beating India for the bronze. And in the men's event, Australia defeated Malaysia 4-0 to take gold, leaving England to beat India on penalties for the bronze.
But all the signs are that competition is going to be a lot closer at Manchester 2002...
Competing teams at Manchester 2002