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Thakur likely for Hamburg tourney

June 13, 2003 16:24 IST

Ace striker Deepak Thakur, who was forced to miss the just-concluded three-nation Hockey Australia Men's Challenge due to a leg injury, is set to stage a comeback to the Indian team after receiving a call to attend the training camp ahead of the quadrangular Panasonic Cup in Hamburg, Germany, later this month.

Thakur, who was the leading scorer in India's Junior World Cup-winning campaign in 2001, has recovered from the hairline fracture he suffered on the leg during the Bombay Gold Cup in April and is one of the five new players who will attend the training camp in Delhi along with the 20 who represented the India in the double-leg tournament in Australia.

"The selection of players for the Hamburg tournament will be made on either June 17 or 18. We are unlikely to make much changes to the side that played in Australia," Indian Hockey Federation sources said in Delhi on Friday.

India won the second leg of the Hockey Australia Men's Challenge in Sydney after finishing second to Australia in the first leg in Perth. Pakistan and Australia 'A' were the other teams which figured in the tournament.

The team, which will leave for Germany on June 23, will kick-off their campaign in the three-day Panasonic tournament with a match against Argentina, on June 27.

Besides Thakur, the other four who will attend the seven-day camp, starting June 16, are V S Vinay of Indian Airlines, Prabhdeep Singh of Punjab Police and Namdhari's Harpal Singh and Didar Singh.

Though India plays only once against each of the teams -- Argentina, Germany and Spain -- in the fray, the tournament will be the last chance for the players to finetune their skills for the prestigious six-nation Champions Trophy, starting in Amsterdam in August.

India take on the World champions Germany on June 28, while they will play Spain the next day.

The schedule:

June 27: India vs Argentina, Spain vs Germany

June 28: Argentina vs Spain, India vs Germany

June 29: India vs Spain, Germany vs Argentina

Probables: Devesh Chauhan, Kamaldeep Singh, Dilip Tirkey, Kanwaljeet Singh, Jugraj Singh, Ignace Tirkey, Bimal Lakra, Vikram Pillay, Viren Rasquinha, Prabodh Tirkey, Baljit Singh Saini, Dhanraj Pillay, Baljit Singh Dhillon, Gagan Ajit Singh, Prabhjot Singh, Tejbir Singh, Tushar Khandkar, Mukesh Kumar, Arjun Halappa, Sandeep Michael, Deepak Thakur, V S Vinay, Prabhdeep Singh, Harpal Singh and Deedar Singh.

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