Malaysia will have a relatively easier pool in the Asia Cup that will be held in Ipoh from the 24 August to 1 September.
In revealing the number of teams qualified to play in the Asia Cup, the Asian Hockey Confederation made it clear that the groupings will be based on the World Rankings issued by the International Hockey Federation.
The teams that are eligible to play in the Asia Cup are defending champions Korea, Asian Games gold medallists Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Japan, China and two teams promoted from the second tier, Bangladesh and Oman.
" The draw will be done at the end of March after we receive confirmation of participation from the teams," said AHF Secretary General Tan Sri P. Alagendra who chaired the 62nd Council meeting in Kuala Lumpur.
" The grouping will be determined by using the FIH rankings."
Going by that decsion and based on the rakings, Group A will comprise of Pakistan, Malaysia, Japan and Bangladesh while Group B will see the likes of South Korea, India, China and Oman.
The Asia Cup was initially slated to be played in Singapore but the AHF decided to award it to Malaysia after the island finished 6th in the second tier tournament thus being ranked 12th in Asia.