Hockey

Men’s squad for Asia Cup announced

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The Asia Cup next month would be the first test for new Indian men’s hockey chief coach Sjoerd Marijne but the squad for the same was announced on Saturday even as the Dutchman is currently on tour with the Indian women’s side in Holland.

The men have been training at the SAI Centre in Bengaluru for the past three weeks and Marijne has not spent any time with them so far. The squad was selected by High Performance Director David John and the Hockey India selection committee with Marijne directly taking charge of the selected players after returning from Holland on September 20. He was, however, quoted as being excited about the tournament in an official statement.

“I am looking forward to working with the team which has been picked. The upcoming Asia Cup 2017 will be our first tournament together, and I am very excited to see how the team expresses their leadership qualities on the field. I have previously watched the team live in Netherlands, and I feel that the energy within the team and their play is very impressive,” the statement read.

The 18-member squad has a mix of senior and junior players in continuation of Hockey India’s policy to keep rotating players ahead of major competition. Defenders Harmanpreet Singh and Surender Kumar return to the side after being rested for the recent Europe tour, as do the experienced Sardar Singh, SV Sunil and Akashdeep Singh. Youngsters including Harjeet Singh, Armaan Qureshi and Gurinder Singh, who were part of the Europe tour, have been rested this time around.

The Asia Cup would be held from October 11-22 in Dhaka and be an opportunity for teams to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. Only Malaysia has qualified so far while India is assured of a spot by virtue of being the host. Placed in Pool A, India would open its campaign against Japan on October 11 followed by host Bangladesh on October 13 and Pakistan on October 15.

The squad: Goalkeepers: Akash Chikte, Suraj Karkera; defenders: Dipsan Tirkey, Kothajit Singh, Surender Kumar, Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar; midfielders: SK Uthappa, Sardar Singh, Manpreet Singh, Chinglensana Singh, Sumit; forwards: SV Sunil, Akashdeep Singh, Ramandeep Singh, Lalit Upadhyay, Gurjant Singh, Satbir Singh.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 6:21:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/hockey/mens-squad-for-asia-cup-announced/article19697979.ece

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