The full 18-member lineup of the Indian women’s hockey team, destined to represent the country at the Commonwealth Games this year in Birmingham has been announced, with veteran forward Rani Rampal excluded once again.
Rani, who led the Indian team to the 2018 Asian Games silver and also captained the Nabhvarna at the Tokyo Olympics last year, was recently left out of the Women’s Hockey World Cup squad as she is injured and has not made a full recovery yet. For the same reason, she will also not join the rest of her teammates in Birmingham next month.
Goalkeeper Savita Punia and defender Deep Grace Ekka, who were selected as captain and vice captain respectively for the world cup squad will be reprising their roles in the CWG team as well. The rest of the squad is identical, except three changes.
Rajani Etimarpu will replace Bichu Devi Kharibam as the no 2 goalie, while midfielder Sonika misses out. World Cup squad’s replacement player Sangita Kumari will join the CWG team as a full member.
“We have chosen an experienced side for the Commonwealth Games and the players believe they have a good shot at a medal this time,” said chief coach Janneke Schopman, “The team is upbeat after a good outing in the FIH Pro League matches and understand very well that the expectations are also high. We would have finished our World Cup campaign only days before the CWG so it was very essential for us to pick a physically fit team as the recovery time between the two events is just about 10 days.”
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