A summary of sports events and sports persons, who made news on Wednesday
Former England goalkeeper David James, on Wednesday, returned at the helm of affairs of Kerala Blasters, a day after the Indian Super League side sacked Rene Meulensteen as their head coach following a string of poor performances by the team.
James, who has played for England in 53 matches between 1997 and 2010, was the marquee player-cum-head coach of Kerala Blasters in the inaugural edition of the ISL in 2014. He was the England goalkeeper during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
“David James arrived in Kochi today and we have appointed him as head coach of Kerala Blasters for the remainder of the ISL. We have informed the ISL which has approved his (James') taking over as head coach of Kerala Blasters," a team official said.
As soon as he arrived, 47-year-old James, who spent seven years at English Premier League side Liverpool between 1992 and 1999 playing 214 matches, had a huddle with team owners and officials.
It is also learnt that the ISL issued a prompt permission to James' appointment as he was earlier a part of the league in the inaugural edition.
That was the reason of his appointment being cleared just a day after the sacking of Dutchman Meulensteen.
James is expected to be at the Kerala Blasters dug out in their home match against FC Pune City on Thursday.
The Sachin Tendulkar co-owned side sacked Meulensteen following their woeful performance so far in the ISL season. The decision came after the Blasters suffered a 1-3 defeat at home to Bengaluru FC on December 31.
Hockey India names 33-member squad for 2018 season
Fit-again PR Sreejesh made a return after recovering from a long-injury lay-off as Hockey India (HI) announced a 33-member squad for the first national camp beginning in Bengaluru on Thursday.
Sreejesh will be is vying to find top form after nearly eight months of break due to a knee injury. He had suffered a medial collateral ligament (MCL) injury during the Azlan Shah tournament earlier last year.
After ending the year with a bronze medal at the Odisha Hockey World League Final, Indian men's hockey team will report for the 10-day camp at the Sports Authority of India to prepare for the busy hockey calendar this season.
Goalkeeper Krishan B Pathak, part of the winning team of 2016 Junior World Cup, finds himself in the group along with Akash Anil Chikte and Suraj Karkera who had promising outing at the Asia Cup and contributed to India's success at the Hockey World League Final.
Nilam Sanjeep Xess, the young defender from Sundargarh, Odisha who led the Indian team to U-18 Asia Cup win in 2016, has been elevated to the Senior Core Group.
He will train alongside stalwart Sardar Singh, Harmanpreet Singh, Amit Rohidas, Dipsan Tirkey, Varun Kumar, Rupinder Pal Singh, Birendra Lakra, Surender Kumar, Gurinder Singh in the back line.
Goalkeepers: Akash Anil Chikte, Suraj Karkera, PR Sreejesh, Krishan B Pathak.
Defenders: Harmanpreet Singh, Amit Rohidas, Dipsan Tirkey, Varun Kumar, Rupinderpal Singh, Birendra Lakra, Surender Kumar, Gurinder Singh, Nilam Sanjeep Xess, Sardar Singh.
Midfielders: Manpreet Singh, Chinglensana Singh, SK Uthappa, Sumit, Kothajit Singh, Satbir Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Simranjeet Singh, Harjeet Singh.
Forwards: SV Sunil, Akashdeep Singh, Mandeep Singh, Lalit Upadhyay, Gurjant Singh, Ramandeep Singh, Armaan Qureshi, Affan Yousuf, Talwinder Singh, Sumit Kumar.