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Rajpal, Halappa fail to make hockey squad

Source: PTI
January 30, 2012 19:38 IST

Former captain Rajpal Singh got the axe as Hockey India named an 18-member squad for the London Olympics qualifier, to be held at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, in Delhi, from February 18 to 26.

Experienced midfielders Vikram Pillay and Arjun Halappa also failed to find a place in the squad, which will be led by goalkeeper Bharat Chetri.

Halappa was, however, named in the standbys list along with Manjeet Kullu (defender), VS Vinaya (midfielder) and Chinglensana Singh (forward).

Canada, France, Italy, Poland and Singapore are the other teams participating in the tournament.

Rajpal was retained among the 32 probables, which was cut down from the 45 earlier this month, but could make it among the last 18.

Newcomers Kothajit Singh and S K Uthappa, who had impressive debuts in the five-Test series against South Africa, were retained, while veteran Ignace Tirkey also secured a place in the team.

Senior players Tushar Khandker and Shivendra Singh will lead the forward line, which includes S V Sunil Sarvanjit Singh, Gurvinder Singh Chandi, Danish Mujtaba and the talented Yuvraj Walmiki.

Sandeep Singh, V R Raghunath and Rupinderpal Singh will man the defence, while Sardar Singh (vice-captain), Manpreet Singh and Birendra Lakra are the other midfielders in the team.

P R Sreejesh is the other goalkeeper.

The team was selected on the basis of performances of the core group probables during the India-South Africa Test series by Hockey India Selectors, Col Balbir Singh, BP Govinda and Syed Ali along with government observers Harbinder Singh and Dilip Tirkey.

The squad:

Goalkeepers: Bharat Chetri (captain), PR Sreejesh.

Defenders: Sandeep Singh, VR Raghunath, Rupinderpal Singh.

Midfielders: Sardar Singh (vice-captain), Manpreet Singh, Birendra Lakra, Ignace Tirkey, Kothajit Singh.

Forwards: S V Sunil, Sarvanjit Singh, Shivendra Singh, Gurvinder Singh Chandi, Tushar Khandker, Danish Mujtaba, Yuvraj Walmiki, S K Uthappa.

Standbys: Manjeet Kullu (defender), VS Vinaya (midfielder), Arjun Halappa (midfielder), Chinglensana Singh (forward).

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