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Rediff.com  » Sports » Sreejesh replaces Sardar as captain for Rio Olympics; Rani axed

Sreejesh replaces Sardar as captain for Rio Olympics; Rani axed

Last updated on: July 12, 2016 17:46 IST

PR Sreejesh

IMAGE: India’s hockey captain P R Sreejesh, right, with team-mates. Photograph: Hockey India.

Hockey India named senior goalkeeper P R Sreejesh as captain of the national team for the Rio Olympics, replacing long-time skipper Sardar Singh.

Sreejesh, one of the finest custodians in world hockey at the moment, was rewarded after the team, under his leadership, won the silver medal at the Champions Trophy in London last month.

Sreejesh had a good tournament both as player and captain as India registered their best finish in the 38-year history of the tournament.

The team played a brilliant final, holding eventual champions Australia to a goalless draw in regulation time before losing in a controversial shoot-out.

Play-maker S V Sunil, another key component in the team, was named vice-captain.

While things fell into place for Sreejesh at the right time, it all went awry for Sardar, who has been going through a torrid time both on and off the field. The latter's performance has dipped on the field as he is no longer as sharp a midfielder as he used to be.

Off it, allegations of rape after promising marriage levelled by a British national also dented his reputation.

Sardar was captain of the national team for a number of years and led India at the London Olympics in 2012.

The women’s team will miss the services of their skipper, Ritu Rani, who allegedly left the preparatory camp.

Sushila Chanu will captain the team while Deepika was named vice-captain.

Men’s squad: Harmanpreet Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh, Kothajit Singh, Surender Kumar, Manpreet , Sardar Singh, VR Raghunath, SK Uthappa, PR Sreejesh, Danish Mujtaba, Devender Walmiki, SV Sunil, Akashdeep Singh, Chinglensana Singh, Ramandeep Singh, Nikkin Thimmaiah.

Standbys: Pardeep Mor, Vikas Dahiya

Women’s squad: Savita, Navjot Kaur, Deep Grace Ekka, Monika, Anuradha Devi, Poonam Rani, Vandana Kataria, Deepika, Namita Toppo, Renuka Yadav, Sunita Lakra, Sushila Chanu, Rani Rampal, Preeti Dubey, Lilima Minz, Nikki Pradhan.

Standbys: Rajani Etimarpu & H. Lalruat Feli

AGENCIES