India names full-strength men’s hockey squad for CWG

Hockey India (HI) had initially decided to send a second-string team for the CWG due to the short turnaround time between the Birmingham showpiece and the Hangzhou Asian Games, which is a qualifier for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
India names full-strength men’s hockey squad for CWG
Representative imageReuters

NEW DELHI: India on Monday named a full-strength 18-member men’s hockey squad for the Commonwealth Games with Manpreet Singh returning as captain and drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh appointed his deputy.

Hockey India (HI) had initially decided to send a second-string team for the CWG due to the short turnaround time between the Birmingham showpiece and the Hangzhou Asian Games, which is a qualifier for the 2024 Paris Olympics. However, with the Asian Games now postponed owing to the COVID-19 situation in China, HI decided to pick a strong team for the Commonwealth Games, scheduled to begin on July 28.

Manpreet had led India to a historic bronze medal at the Olympic Games in Tokyo last year and will take over the reins from Amit Rohidas, who was the captain for the FIH Pro League tours of Belgium and the Netherlands. Harmanpreet, who has been named the vice-captain, emerged as the highest goal scorer in the Pro League.

“We have gone with a tried-and-tested team for the Commonwealth Games. These players have the experience of playing top teams in high-pressure games in the FIH Pro League, which was a good exposure for us ahead of the prestigious quadrennial event,” chief coach Graham Reid said in a media release.

SQUAD: Goalkeepers:

PR Sreejesh and Krishan Bahadur Pathak; Defenders: Varun Kumar, Surender Kumar, Harmanpreet Singh (vc), Amit Rohidas, Jugraj Singh and Jarmanpreet Singh; Midfielders: Manpreet Singh (c), Hardik Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Shamsher Singh, Akashdeep Singh and Nilakanta Sharma; Forwards: Mandeep Singh, Gurjant Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay and Abhishek

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