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Rediff.com  » Sports » Tough outing awaiting Indian eves at hockey World Cup

Tough outing awaiting Indian eves at hockey World Cup

August 21, 2010 19:36 IST

Leaving behind off-field controversies, the Indian women's hockey team on Saturday left for Rosario, Argentina to participate in the August 28 to September 11 World Cup.

The Surinder Kaur-led Indian side, who are travelling to Argentina without a head coach after the sacking of MK Kaushik for his alleged involvement in a sex scandal, open their campaign against defending champions Netherlands on August 30.

They have been clubbed in a tough Pool A alongside the Netherlands, Australia, Germany, Japan and New Zealand.

After the Netherlands match, India play Australia on September 1 before taking on Germany (September 3), Japan (September 5) and New Zealand (September 7).

India will also play practice matches against Spain, Argentina and England before the start of the tournament to be played at the Country of Rosario Jockey Club.

The build-up to the tournament has been marred by a sex scandal involving former chief coach MK Kaushik.

The scandal led to the resignation of Kaushik following which four coaches - Sandeep Somesh, Khalid Modi, Sandeep Kaur and Pritam Siwach - have been appointed to guide the team in Argentina.

Hockey India, however, said that it was not expecting any miracle from the team in Argentina as it is participating the tournament without a chief coach.

"The team has gone to Argentina without a chief coach even though Hockey India had recommended the name of Mr C R Kumar to the Government, in place of Mr M K Kaushik who has since resigned," HI said in a statement.

"Mr C R Kumar is a very experienced and learned coach having been with the Indian men's national team for many years besides being the head coach of the Malaysian women's team at the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games.

"The Indian women's team for this World Cup has gone with a set of coaches, including a few who have coached the girls for less than one week. In view of this, there may be a possibility for the team to not produce the expected results," it added.

The Squad:

Goalkeepers: Dipika Murty, Etimarpu Rajani

Defenders: Binita Toppo, Subhadra Pradhan, Joydeep Kaur

Midfielders: Asunta Lakra, Kirandeep Kaur, Mukta P Barla, Deepika Thakur, Ritu Rani

Forwards: Surinder Kaur, Jasjeet Kaur Handa, Soundarya Yendala, Rani Rampal, Saba Anjum, Chanchan Devi Thokchom, Poonam Rani, Monika Badran

Officials: Sandeep Somesh, Khalid Modi, Sandeep Kaur, Pritam Siwach (coach).

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