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HWL semi final: Five from Odisha find place in Indian women’s hockey squad

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Bhubaneswar: Five players from Odisha — Deep Grace Ekka, Sunita Lakra, Namita Toppo, Lilima Minz and Anupa Barla — have been selected to 18-member Indian women’s squad for the Hockey World League (HWL) Semi Final scheduled to be held between July 8 to 23 in Johannesburg.

The team captained by striker Rani Rampal was announced by Hockey India (HI) on Wednesday.

Also Read: Indian women’s hockey squad announced for HWL Semi Final

While Deep Grace Ekka and Sunita Lakra were announced among the defenders of the team, Namita Toppo and Lilima Minz will be placed in the Midfielders. Anupa Barla will be part among the forwards.

Team India lost the five-match bilateral series against hosts New Zealand 0-5. They need to start firing as the HWL Semi Final also happens to be a qualifying tournament for the 2018 Women’s World Cup in London.

India are in Pool B along with strong opponents Argentina, South Africa, Chile and the United States. India will begin their campaign against South Africa on July 8.

Germany, England, Ireland, Japan and Poland will also participate in the event.

Ahead of their departure at the end of this month, the national squad will train in New Delhi for a week.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Savita, Rajani Etimarpu

Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka, Sunita Lakra, Gurjit Kaur, P. Sushila Chanu (Vice Captain), Monika

Midfielders: Renuka Yadav, Nikki Pradhan, Namita Toppo, Navjot Kaur, Ritu Rani, Lilima Minz

Forwards: Reena Khokhar, Rani Rampal (Captain), Vandana Katariya, Anupa Barla, Preeti Dubey