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Gagan Ajit in probables list
July 19, 2005 20:56 IST
Ace forward Gagan Ajit Singh returned to the reckoning after almost a year in the wilderness as he was named in the 26-man probables' list for the training camp for next month's eight-nation hockey tournament in Holland.
Gagan, who was out of favour following India's disastrous show in the Athens Olympics, was also suspended for three months for unruly conduct during the men's nationals in Hyderabad in March.
The players who represented India in the junior World Cup recently were not considered for selection as the selectors decided to give them rest "after a hectic tournament".
The camp, commencing in Chandigarh on Wednesday, will continue till August 10. The August 14-21 tournament, also involving Pakistan, Germany, Spain, Australia, Holland, Korea and England, will be played in Amstelveen.
Like Gagan, his state mate Kanwalpreet Singh also returned after being dropped after the Olympics in August last year.
Kanwalpreet was also banned for two years after being found guilty of hitting Deepak Thakur with his stick during the Ranjit Singh hockey in February. But his ban was revoked last month by Indian Hockey Federation.
The duo's return is likely to boost to the Indians, who will play in the eight-nation with an under strength side, as they did in the Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia earlier this year.
With the junior team preparing for the World Cup then, India had sent a team comprising several new faces to the seven-nation Azlan Shah tournament in Kuala Lumpur, where it finished fifth.
Also returning to the fold is dependable midfielder Viren Rasquinha, who missed the Azlan Shah cup due to an injury.
There were also several unheralded players in the list, like Raghunathan and Gurtejpreet Singh, though coach Rajinder Singh Junior is pinning high hopes on them.
"They are good players and I hope they will do well in the camp," Rajinder said over phone from Chandigarh.
The tournament, a warm-up for this year's Champions Trophy in Chennai, has arch-rivals India and Pakistan in the same pool.
The Asian giants share the Pool A with European powerhouses Germany, the world champions, and Spain, the Champions Trophy winners.
Olympic champions Australia are in Pool B with hosts Holland, Asian Games champions Korea and England.
Devesh Chauhan, Bharat Chetri, Maninder Singh, Dilip Tirkey, Kanwalpreet Singh, Harpal Singh, Muthuselvan, Viren Rasquinha, Ignace Tirkey, Prabhdeep Singh, Bimal Lakra, Jaswinder Singh, Devinderpal Singh, Arjun Halappa, Didar Singh, Grish Pimpale, Deepak Thakur Gagan Ajit Singh, Prabhjot Singh, Ravipal Singh, Inderjeet Singh, Rajpal Singh, Davinder Singh, Navpreet Singh, Raghunath, Gurtejpreet Singh.
Officials: Rajinder Singh (chief coach), Narinder Pal Singh (coach), Romeo James (GK coach), Sampath Kumar (physical trainer).