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18-member Indian junior men’s team for FIH World Cup announced, Vivek Sagar to lead

An 18-member Indian junior men's team led by Vivek Sagar Prasad will compete in the FIH Odisha Hockey Men's Junior World Cup Bhubaneswar 2021. Photo: Hockey India

Bhubaneswar, Nov 11 (MNN) Hockey India on Thursday named an 18-member Indian junior men’s team led by Vivek Sagar Prasad for the coming FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup Bhubaneswar 2021.

The Indians will defend their title at the much-awaited event slated to begin on November 24. A total of 16 top teams from across the globe will vie for the honours previously won by India in 2016.

Vivek Sagar was part of India’s historic Tokyo Olympics bronze feat. Defender Sanjay, part of India U-18 team that won silver at the Youth Olympic Games 2018 in Buenos Aires, will be Vice Captain.

The team includes Shardanand Tiwari, Prashant Chauhan, Sudeep Chirmako, Rahul Kumar Rajbhar, Maninder Singh, Pawan, Vishnukant Singh, Ankit Pal, Uttam Singh, Sunil Jojo, Manjeet, Rabichandra Singh Moirangthem, Abhishek Lakra, Yashdeep Siwach, Gurmukh Singh and Araijeet Singh Hundal.

Dinachandra Singh Moirangthem and Boby Singh Dhami have been chosen as alternate players who will be allowed to play only if there is an injury or someone in the squad is ruled out due to Covid-19.

Chief Coach Graham Reid said: “To choose the best 18 players to represent their country is one of the hardest things to do in sport. Each of these guys have put their everything into trying to make this team for the last 12-18 months. Through COVID, through sanctions and lockdowns, huge sacrifices have been made. We have chosen a group of 20 players, a team of 18 and 2 alternate players who we believe gives us the best chance of defending our title as Junior World Cup Champions. It is a well-balanced side with a lot of flexibility and flare. The key to these guys performing on the big stage will be to trust in each other and trust in their preparation.”

Reid spoke of the team’s ongoing preparations in Bhubaneswar. “The players have been thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to train for the last few days at Kalinga Hockey Stadium which has become an icon in our sport. Even though the ground will be empty, the Olympics have proven that the spectacle of hockey can still be enjoyed by everyone involved,” said Reid.

India begins their campaign on November 24 against France, followed by round robin match against Canada on November 25, and against Poland on November 27.

The knockout matches will take place between December 1 and 5 at the prestigious quadrennial event.

Other teams in the fray include Belgium, The Netherlands, Argentina, Germany, Canada, South Africa, Egypt, Pakistan, Korea, Malaysia, Poland, France, Chile, Spain and USA.

India U-21 Team:

Shardanand Tiwari, Prashant Chauhan (GK), Sanjay (VC), Sudeep Chirmako, Rahul Kumar Rajbhar, Maninder Singh, Pawan (GK), Vishnukant Singh, Ankit Pal, Uttam Singh, Sunil Jojo, Manjeet, Rabichandra Singh Moirangthem, Vivek Sagar Prasad (C), Abhishek Lakra, Yashdeep Siwach, Gurmukh Singh, Araijeet Singh Hundal.

 

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