Sandeep Singh back in Indian hockey team

May 3rd, 2008 - 12:10 am ICT by admin  

New Delhi, May 2 (IANS) Newly appointed hockey selectors Friday dropped nine players from the team that played in the four-nation tournament in Australia while including seven junior players for the Azlan Shah tournament in Ipoh from May 8. Sandeep Singh, who missed India’s Olympic qualification campaign, was included while Prabhjot Singh, Wiliam Xalxo, Adrian D’Souza, Ignace Tirkey were left out of the squad. Tushar Khandekar has been named captain of the side.

Young drag-flicker Diwakar Ram along with Innocent Kullu, Sameer Baxla, Ranjeet Singh, Cheenya A B, Gurvinder Singh and Mandeep Antil were the juniors who were picked in the 18-member squad.

“We want the junior players to get a good opportunity to play and not warm benches.” Chief selector Aslam Sher Khan said on the inclusion of a bunch of juniors.

Asked about the players being left out from the team, Aslam Sher said: “We have not made any major changes in the squad that was picked by the dissolved Indian Hockey Federation for this tour. They had recommended some players to return from Australia while the juniors would have attended the team in Ipoh.”

Jaswinder Singh, V S Vinay and Ravi Pal are the other three players who will return from Australia.

The seven junior players were part of Under-21 squad in the eight-nation tournament in Malaysia last year. Diwakar had emerged as the highest scorer in that tournament.

The selectors also decided to send Joaquim Carvalho as the observer for the team while A K Bansal will be the coach.

“It was decided by the IHF that Bansal would go as coach and Carvalho as observer. We thought it will not be good to stop him from going,” Aslam Sher said.

The selection committee comprising five Olympians chose the team for the first time after the Indian Olympic Association had dissolved the IHF and named the panel of new selectors.

Baljeet Singh, Sreejesh P.R., Diwakar Ram, Sandeep Singh, Innocent Kullu, Sameer Baxla, Sarvanjit Singh, Ranjeet Singh, Vickram Kanth, Sardara Singh, Cheeyana A.B., Vivek, S.V. Sunil, Gurvinder Singh, Tushar Khandekar, Shivender Singh, Mandeep Antil and Gurbaj Singh.

Officials: Ric Charlseworth (Adviser), R. K. Shetty (Manager), Joaquim Carvalho (Observer), A.K. Bansal (chief coach), Rajesh Chauhan (Coach), Ramesh Parameshwaran (Asst. Coach), Shrikant Iyenger (Physio), M. V. Mathai (Trainer),
C.S. Jayaprakash (Doctor), H.S. Sokhi (Judge), Parnam Singh (Umpire).

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