New Delhi, Nov 15 (MNN) Hockey India has named an 18-member Indian team led by Tokyo Olympian Lalremsiami for the FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup 2021, which will be held in Potchefstroom in South Africa from December 5.
Sixteen teams will vie for the title including Argentina, who are the reigning champions, having won the 2016 edition in Chile.
India’s best performance at this prestigious tournament was a bronze medal finish in 2013. The Indian women’s team couldn’t qualify in 2016.
Lalremsiami, who played a part in the Indian senior team’s historic fourth-place finish at the Tokyo Olympics, will captain the Junior World Cup hockey squad. Defender Ishika Chaudhary will be the vice-captain.
The 18-member squad also includes Salima Tete and Sharmila Devi, who represented India at the Tokyo Olympics.
Preeti and Prabhleen Kaur have been chosen as standbyes, who can play only if there is an injury or someone in the contingent is ruled out of the tournament due to COVID-19.
“With the experience from the senior team and some great young talent, we will show the best India has to give,” women’s team chief coach Janneke Schopman said.
“The team is very excited as they have waited a long time to compete at the world stage and we’re looking forward to making the most of this great opportunity.”
Squad: Bichu Devi Kharibam (goalkeeper), Khushboo (goalkeeper), Akshata Abaso Dhekale, Ishika Chaudhary (vice-captain), Priyanka, Marina Lalramnghaki, Ajmina Kujur, Baljeet Kaur, Reet, Vaishnavi Vitthal Phalke, Salima Tete, Sharmila Devi, Lalremsiami (captain), Beauty Dungdung, Deepika, Mumtaz Khan, Sangita Kumari, Jiwan Kishori Toppo
Reserves: Preeti, Prabhleen Kaur
India have been grouped in Pool C, alongside reigning champions Argentina, the Russian Hockey Federation and Japan. India’s first group game is against the Russian Hockey Federation on December 6.
Record three-time champions Netherlands are in Pool A. Australia and New Zealand had pulled out of the competition due to COVID-19.
In the group stage, each team plays the other three in their group once. The top two sides from each group advance to the quarter-finals while the remaining teams will play the classification matches for positions nine to 16.
Pool A: Netherlands, Korea, Ireland, Zimbabwe
Pool B: England, Belgium, Canada, Uruguay
Pool C: Argentina, India, Japan, Russia in Pool C
Pool D: Germany, Spain, United States, South Africa
India schedule, fixtures and live match times
December 6: India vs Russian Hockey Federation – 2.30 pm IST
December 7: India vs Argentina – 2.30 pm
December 9: India vs Japan – 2.30 pm