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Dinesh Nayak replaces injured Jugraj Singh for Asia Cup
September 13, 2003 15:20 IST
Dinesh Nayak will replace the injured Jugraj Singh in the 18-member Indian team for the Asia Cup hockey tournament, starting in Malaysia on September 21.
Forward Sandeep Michael, who missed the Champions Trophy after being down with jaundice, is back in the side and replaces V S Vinay.
Those are the only two changes the Indian Hockey Federation made in the team, which finished fourth in the elite six-nation tournament in Amstelveen, Holland, last month.
Penalty-corner expert Jugraj, who has been ruled out of action for three to four months after meeting with an accident in Punjab last week, is recovering at a hospital in Ludhiana.
Mercurial striker Dhanraj Pillay has been retained captain for the September 21-28 tournament.
Three players -- Baljit Singh Saini, Ignace Tirkey and Dilip Tirkey -- who suffered injuries during the Champions Trophy -- have also been included in the side. The team leaves for Kuala Lumpur on September 17.
Despite their impressive performance in Poland, three members of the title winning Indian junior team -- Prabodh Tirkey, Tushar Khandekar and Sandeep Singh, all of whom are attending the camp at the National Stadium in New Delhi -- failed to make it to the final list.
India, who have been drawn in the Pool B in the Asia Cup, will open their campaign in the tournament with a match against China on September 21. They meet Bangladesh the next day.
India takes on arch-rivals Pakistan in their last league match on September 24.
South Korea are favourites in Group 'A' which also has Malaysia, Japan and Hong Kong.
The final will be played on September 28 and the winner of the tournament will get an automatic berth for the 2006 World Cup.
Team: Dhanraj Pillay, Devesh Chauhan, Kamaldeep Singh, Dilip Tirkey, Kanwalpreet Singh, Dinesh Nayak, Ignace Tirkey, Viren Rasquinha, Vikram Pillay, Bimal Lakra, Sandeep Michael, Baljit Singh Saini, Gagan Ajit Singh, Prabhjot Singh, Tejbir Singh, Deepak Thakur, Deedar Singh, Baljit Singh Dhillon.
The team will be accompanied to Malaysia by Rajinder Singh (chief coach), Baldev Singh (asst coach), A B Subbaiah (goalkeeping coach), Sampath Kumar (physical trainer), R V Raghuprasad (umpire), T K Das (judge) and K Krishnamurthy (manager).