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Three from Odisha in Indian Hockey team for Sultan Azlan Shah Cup

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Bhubaneswar: Three players from Odisha were selected to Indian Men’s Hockey team for the upcoming Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2019 in Malaysia.

Birendra Lakra, Amit Rohidas and Shilanand Lakra found the place in the 18-member Indian squad led by Manpreet Singh for the 28th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup scheduled to begin at Ipoh on March 23.

Hockey India on Wednesday announced the name of players who will take part in the prestigious annual tournament that will see hosts Malaysia, Canada, Korea, South Africa, India and 18th Asian Games Champions Japan in the fray.

The Indian team features experienced goalkeeper PR Sreejesh and youngster Krishan B Pathak in the goal-post while the defence will see Vice Captain Surender Kumar joined by Gurinder Singh, Birendra Lakra, Kothajit Singh Khadangbam along with dragflickers Varun Kumar and Amit Rohidas.

In the midfield Skipper Manpreet Singh will lead the charge alongside young guns Vivek Sagar Prasad, Hardik Singh, Sumit and Nilakanta Sharma. The forwardline will see Mandeep Singh, Simranjeet Singh, Gurjant Singh, Shilanand Lakra and Sumit Kumar.

The Indian team who begin their campaign against Japan on 23 March 2019 will miss the services of experienced forwards SV Sunil, Akashdeep Singh, Ramandeep Singh, Lalit Upadhyay, and defenders Rupinder Pal Singh, Harmanpreet Singh as well as midfielder Chinglensana Singh who were unavailable for selection due to injury. Junior players Vishal Antil and Pardeep Singh too were not available for selection of the Indian team for the 28th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2019 owing to injury. These players will continue to undergo rehabilitation at the Sports Authority of India, Bengaluru.

“It is unfortunate we will be missing some key players for the 28th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2019 due to injury. However, it is important for them to return to 100 percent fitness ahead of the FIH Series Final, Bhubaneswar Odisha 2019 which is a crucial tournament in our quest for 2020 Olympic berth and hence will continue to remain in Bengaluru and work on their rehabilitation,” stated David John, Director High Performance, Hockey India.

Speaking about the Indian team for 28th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2019, John said, “It is a relatively young side but each of these players has tremendous potential and have a good amount of International exposure. It is important to see how they fair in Malaysia as it will show the depth we possess in the Core Group ahead of the Olympic Qualification events this year.”

Team India will leave for Ipoh, Malaysia from Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru on March 18.

Here’s the list of players in Indian Men’s Hockey Team for Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2019:

Goalkeepers

1. Krishan B Pathak

2. P R Sreejesh

Defenders

3. Gurinder Singh

4. Surender Kumar (Vice Captain)

5. Varun Kumar

6. Birendra Lakra

7. Amit Rohidas

8. Kothajit Singh Khadangbam

Midfielders

9. Hardik Singh

10. Nilakanta Sharma

11. Sumit

12. Vivek Sagar Prasad

13. Manpreet Singh (Captain)

Forwards

14. Mandeep Singh

15. Simranjeet Singh

16. Gurjant Singh

17. Shilanand Lakra

18. Sumit Kumar

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