Sardar, Thakur return to Indian hockey - as coaches

Uthra Ganesan


Indian hockey will see the return of prolific scorer and former star Deepak Thakur and legendary Sardar Singh in new roles with the duo named as coaches for the Indian men’s and women’s ‘A’ teams respectively on Saturday.

While there have been developmental sides in Indian hockey in the past, this is perhaps the first time since long that ‘A’ teams, with an eye on expanding the talent pool, have been named in a hectic competition year.

It will also be a welcome return to active hockey for former captain Sardar since his retirement in 2018. Thakur, however, has been actively involved in coaching roles with his employer Indian Oil for domestic meets for the last few years although he has kept his distance from the national scene.


The 33-member squads each for men and women will begin training at the SAI Bengaluru Centre from March 7. The move comes following a meeting with Sports Secretary Sujata Chaturvedi to review preparations for the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.

New faces

Interestingly, while the women’s squad includes several younger and new faces, the men’s squad will see the return of veterans S.V. Sunil, Rupinderpal Singh and Birendra Lakra who, in a surprise move, have made themselves available for selection despite announcing retirement post Tokyo Olympics last year. Experienced forward Ramandeep Singh has also been included in the squad.

The squads:

Men: Goalkeepers: Prashant Kumar Chauhan, Pawan, Pankaj Kumar Rajak, Sahil Kumar Nayak; Defenders: Rupinder Pal Singh, Birendra Lakra, Manjeet, Yashdeep Siwach, Moirangthem Dinachandra Singh, Abhisek Lakra, Faraz Mohd, Akshay Avhad, Nabin Kujur, Abhishek Pratap Singh.

Midfielders: Mareeswaran Sakthivel, Sushil Dhanwar, Sheshe Gowda B.M., Bharath K.R., Gregory Xess, Darshan Vibhav Gawkar.

Forwards: Sandeep Singh, Ramandeep Singh, Maninder Singh, S. Karthi, Prabhjot Singh, Pawan Rajbhar, Abharan Sudev, Pardeep Singh, Mohd. Umar, Harsahib Singh, S.V. Sunil, Sunit Lakra, Rahul Ekka.

Women: Goalkeepers: Rashanpreet Kaur, F. Ramenmawi, Sheweta; Defenders: Simran Singh, Gagandeep Kaur, Marina Lalramnghaki, Priyanka, Reet, Reema Baxla, Mudita, Sumita.

Midfielders: Khusbu Kujur, Rinki Kujur, Premanjali Toppo, Prabhleen Kaur, Ajmina Kujur, Sushma Kumari, Jyoti, Mary Kandulana, Amandeep Kaur, Kavita Bagdi, Kirandeep Kaur.

Forwards: Chetna, Yogita Bora, Jiwan Kishori Toppo, Lalrindiki, Sarabdeep Kaur, Raju Ranwa, Neeraj Rana, Kanchan Nidhi Kerketta, Anjali Gautam, Monika Dipi Toppo, Dipti Lakra.

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Printable version | Jun 12, 2022 11:31:24 am |