Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) will be the title sponsor for the seventh Asia Cup hockey tournament for men to be played here from August 31 to September 7, Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) Secretary General K Jyothikumaran announced today.

Addressing a joint press conference with BSNL Chief General Manager Velusamy Prabhakar and Member Secretary Sports Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDATN) Atulya Misra he said Chief Minister M Karunanidhi would give away the trophy to the winning team on the final day of the tournament which is being held under tight security.

Mr Jyothikumaran said all the teams would be provided tight security in the wake of the recent disturbances like the Hyderabad blasts on August 25. The securiy arrangements were being worked with the help of the police top brass.

While China, Pakistan, Korea and Hong Kong had arrived and have been going through practise sessions at both venues, the remaining teams will be here by tomorrow, he added.

He said in addition to the main astro turf stadium, two additional turfs have been provided at the second venue YMCA College of Physical Education.

BSNL is also providing free media centre, Mr Velusamy also announced.

Mr Atulya Misra said Chennai was playing host to another major event in the sport after two Champions trophy competitions here.

He hoped that the Asia Cup would give a fresh fillip to hockey in Tamil Nadu as well as India.

Defending champions India, who are in the six team Pool B, will be opening their campaign in the league cum knock out tournament taking on China, the Doha Asian Games silver medallists. India emerged the winners when the competition was last held in 2003 at Kuala Lumpur.

The following are the teams in fray with the poolings: Pool A: Pakistan, Japan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore.

Pool B: Kore, India, China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Thailand.