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Rediff.com  » Sports » Rajpal to lead in Asian Champions hockey; Adrian, Prabhjot ignored

Rajpal to lead in Asian Champions hockey; Adrian, Prabhjot ignored

Last updated on: August 16, 2011 16:34 IST

Forward Rajpal Singh will lead a young 18-member India squad in the inaugural Asian Champions Trophy hockey tournament in Ordos, China, from September 3 to 11.

India will be without the services of senior players, like Arjun Halappa, who led the team in the recent Azlan Shah tournament, Shivendra Singh, Dharamvir, Tushar Khandekar and Bharat Chikara, all of whom are down with injuries.

While Shivendra is recuperating from a collar bone fracture, Halappa and Khandekar are suffering from groin and ankle injuries respectively.

The squad, announced by Hockey India selectors Col Balbir Singh, B P Govinda and A B Subbaiah, along with government observers Harbinder Singh and Dilip Tirkey, was selected after a two-day trial at Bengaluru on August 13-14.

Meanwhile, two of the five 'rebel' players -- ace drag-flicker Sandeep Singh and midfielder Sardara Singh -- who were issued show-cause notices by Hockey India for attending a promotional event of World Series Hockey last month, found places in the squad.

However, goalkeeper Adrian D'Souza and veteran forward Prabhjot Singh were ignored by the selectors for the upcoming tournament, while Halappa is injured.

The squad has two goalkeepers, three defenders, five midfielders and eight forwards.

The selectors also named six standbys for the tournament, in which the top six teams of last year's Guangzhou Asian Games -- Pakistan, Malaysia, South Korea, India, Japan and China -- will participate. 

India's chief coach Micheal Nobbs expressed satisfaction with the selection he got for his first assignment.

"I think I am happy with the team. All the selectors and coaches were unanimous on team selection," the Australian said.

"While selecting the team we kept in mind not just this tournament but also the Australian tour and Champions Trophy in December," he added.

India open its campaign against hosts China on September 3.

The team:

Goalkeepers: Bharat Chetri, PR Sreejesh.

Defenders: Sandeep Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh, Harpreet Singh.

Midfielders: Sardar Singh, Gurbaj Singh, Ignace Tirkey, Manpreet Singh, Manjit Kullu.

Forwards: Rajpal Singh (captain), Danish Mujtaba, Sarvanjit Singh, SV Sunil, Ravi Pal, Gurvinder Singh Chandi, Roshan Minz, Yuvraj Walmiki.

Standbys: Kamaldeep Singh (Goalkeeper), VR Raghunath (Defender), Vikas Sharma (Midfielder), Birender Lakra (Midfielder), Mandip Antil (Forward), Chinglensana Singh Kangujam (Forward).

The schedule:

September 3: India vs China

September 4: India vs Japan

September 6: India vs South Korea

September 7: India vs Malaysia

September 9: India vs Pakistan

September 11: Classification matches and final.

 Anjum to lead women's squad

Striker Saba Anjum will lead the 18-member women's hockey squad in the second Asian Champions Trophy, at Ordos, China, from September 3-11.

The squad was named on Tuesday after trials held at Bhopal, which was attended by Hockey India selectors Col Balbir Singh, B P Govinda, Rekha Bhide and Rajbir Kaur, besides government observer Dilip Tirkey.

The top four teams from the Asian Games held at Guangzhou last year are participating in the competition. Besides India, the other three teams in the tournament are China, South Korea and Japan.

India play South Korea in their first match on September 4 before taking on Japan on September 6 and China on September 8.

The final is slated for September 10.

The squad:

Goalkeepers: Yogita Bali, Savita.

Defenders: Joydeep Kaur, Jaspreet Kaur, Th Pinki Devi.

Midfielders: Ritu Rani, Asunta Lakra, Kirandeep Kaur, Mukta Prava Barla, Deepika, Kiran Dahiya.

Forwards: Saba Anjum (Captain), Jaspreet Kaur Handa, Poonam Rani, Vandana Kataria, Rani, Th Anuradha Devi, Soundarya Yendala.

Standbys: Rajani Etimarpu (Goalkeeper), Preety Sunila Kiro (Defender), M N Ponnamma (Midfielder), Sushila Chanu (Midfielder), Deep Grace Ekka (Midfielder), Roselin Dung Dung (Forward), Lilima Minz (Forward), Rashmi Singh (Forward).