Hockey India on Monday has named 24-member men’s hockey team squad that will kick off the FIH Hockey Pro League against World No.1 Belgium at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium, Bhubaneswar. The national governing body of the sport has named Manpreet Singh as the captain of the Indian team in the FIH Pro League matches against Belgium, the world’s number one team. Harmanpreet Singh will be India’s vice-captain in the matches to be held in Bhubaneswar on February 8 and 9. Rajkumar Pal is the only new face in the 24-member team.
Rajkumar Pal has been rewarded for his wonderful performance for the Indian junior team last season. Rajkumar had played an important role held the junior finish as runners-up in the Sultan of Johor Cup tournament in Malaysia. Other than Rajkumar, Veteran PR Sreejesh, Krishna Pathak, Gurinder Singh, Amit Rohidas, Surender Kumar, Jermanpreet Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh have also found a place in the team.
Talking about the team that will lock horns with the World Champions Belgium Head coach Graham Reid said that the purpose of these matches is to find the right combination of the team for the Olympic selection and to give every player a chance to substantiate their claim. He said, “The objective of these matches of the FIH Hockey Pro League is to find the balance between giving players opportunities for Olympic selection, working out our strongest combinations and continuing to demonstrate that we can compete with the best teams in the world.”
Reid further talking about the new inclusion in the team Rajkumar said, “Raj Kumar Pal has been rewarded for his outstanding form in the recent camps and named in the squad. He possesses extra-ordinary skills and speed, which if given the opportunity will excel against the World No.1 Belgium.”
Team: PR Sreejesh, KB Pathak, Harmanpreet Singh, Gurinder Singh, Amit Rohidas, Surender Kumar, Jermanpreet Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh, Manpreet Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Chinglensana Singh, Raj Kumar Pal, Dilpreet Singh, Hardik Singh, Ramandeep Singh , Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Mandeep Singh, Shamsher Singh, Gursahibjit Singh, Kothajit Singh, Birendra Lakra, Nilakanta Sharma, Gurjant Singh, SV Sunil.