India today named an unchanged side for the men’s hockey competition at the upcoming Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea as the selectors reposed faith on the 16-member squad that won the silver medal in this year’s Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Hockey India today named the 16-member squad to be led by star midfielder Sardar Singh in the 17th Asian Games to be held from September 19 to October 4.
According to a statement from HI, the side was handpicked by selectors B P Govinda, Harbinder Singh, Dr R P Singh and Arjun Halappa along with High Performance Director Roelant Oltmans and chief coach Terry Walsh on the basis of the players’ performance in the Commonwealth Games, Bangladesh
tour and selection trials conducted at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here on August 11.
P R Sreejesh is the lone goalkeeper in the side and will also don the additional responsibility of vice-captain.
The squad has five defenders Gurbaj Singh, Birendra Lakra, Rupinder Pal Singh, Kothajit Singh and V R Raghunath.
While Sardar will man the midfield along with Dharamvir Singh, Danish Mujtaba, Chinglensana Singh and Manpreet Singh, the attacking line will feature Ramandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh, S V Sunil, Gurwinder Singh Chandi and Nikkin Thimmaiah.
Last edition’s bronze medallist in Guangzhou, India will play their first match in the Asian Games against Sri Lanka on September 21, followed by clashes against Oman on September 23, arch-rivals Pakistan on September 25 and China on September 27.
The team is scheduled to depart for South Korea on September 12.
Don’t expect medals from hockey teams after Govt apathy
Narinder Batra today said the country should not expect a medal from the national teams in the upcoming Asian Games in the wake of government’s “shoddy treatment” of the national sport.
“People should not expect much out of both and men’s and women’s team in the current scenario. The government has completely turned its back on the sport, especially in the last three months,” Batra told PTI claiming lack of adequate funds have hurt the teams’ preparations.
“If at all the players are able to make an impact, the credit will only go to them. But I am not very hopeful. The women’s team were forced to train on worn out turfs and to top it all the camp of the junior teams have not been sanctioned. You can’t expect much in a scenario like this,” Batra fumed.
Batra is claiming lack of funds at a time when Sports Authority of India, the government’s nodal agency, has released Rs 11.27 crores to HI, an amount more than the sport’s annual allocated budget of Rs.10.50 crore.
Indian men bagged a bronze in the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou while the women’s team returned empty handed.
Talking about the third edition of the Hockey India League, Batra maintained that he has not been intimated about the pull out of Dabur-owned Mumbai franchise, adding the 2015 edition of league will see two more teams than the present six.
“We have already signed a contract with two franchisees. The announcement of where they want to field their teams from will be made in the next two weeks. We have requested the investors to have a South India a base as we already have teams in the other regions of the country.” HIL aims to have 10 teams by 2018.