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Pillay to lead

May 19, 2003 21:17 IST

The Indian Hockey Federation once again reposed faith in three-time Olympian Dhanraj Pillay to lead the 20-member squad at the double-header Invitational tournament, to be played at Perth and Sydney, from May 28 to June 8.

The squad, which will be accompanied by four coaches and a trainer, was announced in Delhi on Monday evening through a fax message to the media.

Pillay, who last led the country to its second-ever gold medal victory at the 1998 Bangkok Asian Games, will spearhead the Indian challenge in the tournament with the help of several seniors, who have made a dramatic return into the team.

The team does not include any new face as even the green horns like Sandeep Michael, Tushar Khandekar and Arjun Hallapa have been part of the Indian squad in recent times.

The selectors after trying many combinations and permutations, sprang up quiet a few surprises by recalling ageing former captains Baljit Singh Dhillon and Baljit Singh Saini along with three-time Olympian Mukesh Kumar.

Other teams in the fray in the tournament, Australia, Australia 'A' and Pakistan, announced their squads over a week ago. Significantly Pakistan have not included three of their star players, captain Mohammad Nadeem, penalty-corner expert Sohal Abbas and Wasim Ahmed, all of whom were part of the winning Azlan Shah trophy team. The trio were axed for indiscipline, as all three played in the European league with out the permission of the Pakistan Hockey Federation.

The team:
Goalkeepers: Devesh Chauhan,Kamaldeep Singh
Full-backs: Dilip Tirkey, Kanwalpreet Singh, Jugraj Singh
Half-backs: Ignace Tirkey, Bimal Lakra, Vikram Pillay, Viren Rasquinha, Prabodh Tirkey, Baljit Singh Saini.
Forwards: Dhanraj Pillay (capt), Baljit Singh Dhilon, Gagan Ajit Singh, Prabhjot Singh, Tejbir Singh, Tushar Khandekar, Mukesh Kumar, Arjun Hallapa and Sandeep Michael.

Chief coach: Rajinder Singh
Coaches: Baldev Singh, Harendra Singh, A.B. Subbaiah
Trainer: Sampath Kumar.

The squad will leave for Australia on May 25 from Bangalore.

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Number of User Comments: 5

Sub: Hockey Super Star Dhanraj

Hi Dhanraj,congragulation to you and your team. G.Vinoth Kumar

Posted by G.Vinoth Kumar

Sub: Dhanraj

Sirs, I don't bother so called "aged” or "former captains" play for India. Only thing these players should keep in their mind that they represent ...

Posted by Shane

Sub: Indian Hockey Team

1. Indeed good news that Dhanraj is back as Captain of our team, he is truly a great player. 2. Surprising that Deepak Thakur has ...

Posted by Surjeet Singh Bal

Sub: pillay to lead

dhanraj pillay is world class player so right job for right person.iam sure indian hockey golden days will come back soon

Posted by girish

Sub: indian hockey

dhanraj is the best player to lead of the greatest indian hockey player ,dhanraj has been the key player in all indian matches.the selectors ...

Posted by santosh


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