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Pillay to lead new-look team for Azlan Shah hockey
January 02, 2004 16:31 IST
Last Updated: January 02, 2004 18:08 IST
With an eye on the Olympic qualifiers, the Indian Hockey Federation announced an 18-member experimental team for the prestigious Azlan Shah tournament, in Malaysia next week.
The team has only five old faces in Dhanraj Pillay, who will lead the side, former India captain Baljit Singh Dhillon, Ignace Tirkey, Vikram Pillay and Sandeep Michael.
Len Ayappa and Arjun Halappa, who were part of the Afro-Asian Games gold medal-winning team, also find a place in the side in the absence of several key players including Dilip Tirkey, Gagan Ajit Singh, Deepak Thakur, Viren Rasquinha, Devesh Chauhan and Prabhjot Singh.
As many as six players -- Adrain D'Souza, William Xalxo, Sandeep Singh, Hari Prasad, Girish Pimpale and Tushar Khandekar -- are from the junior squad which toured Poland in August 2003 and emerged triumphant in a six-nation junior tournament there.
IHF president K P S Gill told reporters the team would be trying out new combinations in the seven-nation tournament, starting January 8, in Kuala Lumpur.
"The experiments, to blend new faces and experience, would continue till some more time," Gill said while announcing the squad at the Gachibowli Hockey Stadium in Hyderabad.
"We will keep experimenting at least till the Holland Test series to be held here [in Hyderabad] in February and by that time a good combination will emerge."
India, who won the event thrice (1995, 1991 and 1985) had pulled out of the last edition after the government denied it permission to make the trip, due to the harassment of Indian IT professionals in Malaysia.
Goalkeepers: Kamaldeep Singh, Adrian D'Souza.
Full-backs: Harpal Singh, William Xalxo, Sandeep Singh.
Midfielders: Vikram Pillay, Igance Tirkey, Len Aiyappa, Prabhdeep Singh, V S Vinay, Girish Pimpale.
Forwards: Dhanraj Pillay, Baljit Singh Dhillon, Hari Prasad, Sandeep Michael, Tushar Khandekar, Arjun Halappa, Rajpal Singh.
Officials: Harinder Singh (coach), Clarence Lobo, Ramandeep Singh, A B Subbaiah, Dr Saju Joseph.
The fixtures (Malaysia time):
08 Jan 2004
|1||16h05||Korea vs Pakistan|
|2||18h05||India vs Germany|
|3||20h05||Malaysia vs Spain|
09 Jan 2004
|4||16h05||Pakistan vs India|
|5||18h05||Spain vs Australia|
|6||20h05||Germany vs Malaysia|
10 Jan 2004
|7||18h05||Australia vs Korea|
11 Jan 2004
|8||16h05||Korea vs Germany|
|9||18h05||Malaysia vs India|
|10||20h05||Pakistan vs Spain|
12 Jan 2004
|11||18h05||Malaysia vs Australia|
|12||20h05||Pakistan vs Germany|
13 Jan 2004
|13||18h05||Korea vs Spain|
|14||20h05||India vs Australia|
14 Jan 2004
|15||16h05||Spain vs Germany|
|16||18h05||Pakistan vs Malaysia|
|17||20h05||India vs Korea|
15 Jan 2004
|18||18h05||Australia vs Pakistan|
16 Jan 2004
|19||16h05||Spain vs India|
|20||18h05||Germany vs Australia|
|21||20h05||Malaysia vs Korea|
17 Jan 2004
18 Jan 2004
|22||08h05||5-6th Classification Match|
|23||15h35||3-4th Classification Match|