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Australia's 'unknown' world number ones

The Aussie sporting stars you may not even know exist.

Australia men's hockey team, the Kookaburras, are world number one and have even been called the "most consistently successful Australian sports team for the last 2 decades".

So how do few people know about them?

Hockey is the third most popular sport in the world with an estimated 2 billion fans worldwide. The Australian men's hockey team is world number one and the women's team is world number three.

For a country that prides itself on being the best on the sports front, why is it that barely anyone in Australia watches or knows about our hockey teams?

And it's not just Australia. All over the world, hockey is a non-respected sport that struggles to air on TV even for championship matches. An exception to that of course is the Summer Olympics and Commonwealth Games where field hockey has cemented its spot and continues to be a reason people tune into these massive sport competitions.

So why does seemingly no one watch hockey?

The answer is more simple than you think - it comes down to rivalry.

In Asia, hockey is huge. It's a main reason why India is the host of the 2023 Men's FIH Hockey World Cup this year. Hockey in Asia is supported by rivalries and continues to prove why many watch the sport over there.

Back in 1928 at the Olympics in the Netherlands, India won gold in hockey in their first year. They went on to win the next 5 gold medals in hockey in the Olympics.

Their first loss was against rival Pakistan, causing more people to tune into hockey games to watch these high stake games against their enemy country. Throughout the years, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have formed a fierce, three-way rivalry that is watched by millions in Asia.

It appears to be the source of the problem for Hockey in Australia. We just don't have that rivalry. My mind goes to our traditional sporting rivals, New Zealand but their team struggles to make the top 10 in hockey.

That leaves one other option to kick-start Australian Hockey, and that is to start watching!

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