Thursday, May 15, 2014

‘Banned' goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh named in Indian World Cup standby list

The selection of the Indian men’s hockey team for the 2014 World Cup had its share of surprises. The omission of Yuvraj Walmiki and inclusion of Ramandeep Singh have set the tongues wagging.

If that is not enough, the national hockey selectors had more in store when they named Air India goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh, who is serving a six-month ban among the seven standbys for the marquee event.

It could be possible that since the ban was a recent one (the ban came into effect on April 1, 2014) it failed to grab their notice. Gurpreet was red-carded for being embroiled in an ugly altercation with Sarvanjit Singh and Karamjit Singh of Punjab & Sind Bank during the 48th All India Bombay Gold Cup Tournament. Both Sarvanjit Singh and Karamjit were also red-carded for their unbecoming behaviour.

Hockey India’s disciplinary committee which slapped the ban, also had the provision for the Air India goalie to appeal to Hockey India's Athletes Dispute & Grievance Redressal Committee within 30 days of being handed the ban.

It remains to be seen whether the BP Govinda-led national selection committee will replace Gurpreet with a player who is not under any ban in the standby list. Besides Gurpreet, the six other standbys comprise the Walmiki brothers – Yuvraj and Devinder, Vikram Kanth, Gurinder Singh, Danish Mujtaba and Lalit Upadhyay.

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