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IHF still undecided on probables

December 22, 2004 22:21 IST

The training camp for the Test series against France is all set to begin on Thursday but the Indian Hockey Federation is yet to finalise the list of probables.

IHF, which often comes under flak over its selection procedure, said it had shortlisted "22 to 24 names" till now but is not in a position to make an official announcement.

"We have not finalised all the names as yet. Some players are busy for Christmas while some others are injured. So hopefully we would be coming out with a detailed list by tomorrow," an IHF official said at New Delhi on Wednesday.

"We are in consultation with Jagbir Singh [coach] and it would be better if you could get the names from him," he added.

India will play the two Tests, to be held in Delhi, on December 27 and 28.

This is not the first time that the Federation has failed to name the probables.

It never made public the list for the Champions Trophy which was held in Lahore recently even though a full-fledged camp was held in Chandigarh.

It also did not come out with the squad for the elite six-nation tournament though IHF office bearers had said then "the squad will be the same that played against Pakistan in the Test series. So there is no need to announce it again."

But this time India is likely to make quite a few changes to the side with striker Deepak Thakur and midfielder Bimal Lakra all set to make a comeback, the official said.

Thakur has failed to make it to the side since collapsing on the field during the match against New Zealand in the Athens Olympics in August. Bimal Lakra was not considered for selection in the Olympics team.

Goalkeeper Adrian D'Souza and midfielder Viren Rasquinha are likely to be rested, he said.

While Viren is nursing a knee injury, D'Souza would be busy for Christmas.

Prolific striker Gagan Ajit Singh, dropped after the Athens event, is also unlikely to make a comeback with the official saying: "he is busy playing a tournament [Farmtrac Cup] in Jalandhar."

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