Thursday, April 3, 2014

Ritu Rani to lead Indian women's team in FIH Champions Challenge 1 tournament

Experienced midfielder Ritu Rani will lead the Indian senior women’s hockey team in the upcoming FIH Champions Challenge 1 tournament to be played at Glasgow (Scotland) from 27 April – 4 May 2014. Announcing the team Hockey India said another midfielder from Manipur Chanchan Devi will be Ritu’s deputy.

Ritu is the most experienced player with 165 internationals and is among three players to have featured in more than 100 international games – Kirandeep Kaur (133) and Deepika (112) being the other two. The 18-member squad is currently training at NSNIS, Patiala and will depart for Scotland on April 10.

The national hockey eves are slated to play a three match test series against Ireland ahead of the FIH Champions Challenge 1. The team was picked by Hockey India Selectors Mr. B P Govinda, Ms. Mamta Kharab Dahiya and Ms. Surinder Kaur alongwith Mr. Roelant Oltmans, Director High Performance, Mr. Neil Hawgood, Chief Coach Women Team and Scientific Advisor Mr. Matthew Tredrea. The selectors have also named seven standbys. Navneet Kaur and Neha Goyal will be making their senior international debut in the FIH Champions Challenge 1 tournament.

India are placed in Pool A with alongside Korea, Belgium and hosts Scotland, while USA, South Africa, Spain and Ireland are placed in Pool B. India will launch their campaign against Korea on April 27 before facing Scotland the next day. They play Belgium on April 30.

The squad: Goalkeepers: Yogita Bali (47 caps), Savita (65 caps); Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka (44 caps), Deepika (112 caps), Sunita Lakra (15 caps), Kirandeep Kaur (133 caps), Namita Toppo (32 caps), Monika Malik (9 caps); Midfielders: Sushila Chanu (61 caps), Ritu Rani (165 caps), Lily Chanu (22 caps), Chanchan Devi (97 caps), Soundarya Yendala (87 caps); Forwards: Anuradha Devi (57 caps), Poonam Rani (99 caps), Vandana Katariya (85 caps), Navneet Kaur (0 caps), Neha Goyal (0 caps).

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