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No changes in team for Champions Trophy

July 07, 2003 00:54 IST

The Indian Hockey Federation has retained the same team that triumphed in the recent Hamburg Masters hockey tournament for the prestigious Champions Trophy in Netherlands next month.

However, five or six additional players would be named to take part in the conditioning camp as back-ups in case of injury to any regular team member.

"The boys played very well in Germany and we have decided not to upset the winning combination," IHF president K P S Gill said.

Six top hockey playing nations will participate in the Champions Trophy from August 16 to 24 at Amstelveen, Netherlands.

India have never won the tournament and finished fourth in the last edition at Cologne, Germany.

Though the names of the additional players have not been decided yet, Gill said Mukesh Kumar would certainly not feature among them.

Veteran forward Mukesh Kumar had complained that he was not given enough opportunities in the double-leg tournament in Australia and subsequently pulled put of the tour of Germany citing personal problems. He had, however, said he would be available for the Champions Trophy.

Gill said the team will regroup here on July 10 and call on President A P J Abdul Kalam the next day.

Led by captain Dhanraj Pillay, the team would then shoot off for Mussoorie where they would undergo a week-long "high-altitude training".

"The stint in Mussoorie is aimed at helping the players get a feel of the conditions they are likey to face in Amstelveen," Gill said.

The players would then return to Delhi and resume their camp before flying to Netherlands.

The entire team has been exempted from playing the Murugappa Cup hockey tournament in Chennai so as to allow the players to concentrate on the camp.

Team: Devesh Chauhan, Kamaldeep Singh, Dilip Tirkey, Kanwalpreet Singh, Jugraj Singh, Ignace Tirkey, Viren
Rasquinha, Vikram Pillay, Bimal Lakra, V S Vinay, Baljit Singh Saini, Gagan Ajit Singh, Prabhjot Singh, Tejbir Singh, Deepak Thakur, Sandeep Michael, Baljit Singh Dhillon, Dhanraj Pillay.

Chief Coach: Rajinder Singh.

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