Experienced striker Saba Anjum will lead the Indian women’s hockey team in the Champions Challenge I tournament to be held in Dublin, Ireland from June 18-26 after regular skipper Surinder Kaur opted out of the event citing family problems.
The team was picked up by Hockey India selectors BP Govinda, Syed Ali, Rekha Bhide, Rajbir Kaur and Sita Mehta and government observers Harbinder Singh and Dilip Tirkey after trials held recently. The 18-member squad comprises of seven forwards, two goalkeepers, three defenders and six mid-fielders. But the missing name is Mamta Kharb, who have been out of action last year because of injury. But its not clear why she is not picked up this time as she attended the camp for tournament held in Delhi, while she could have been best option to replace Surinder Kaur in Indian forward line.
Eight teams have been divided in two pools and the matches will be conducted on a league-cum-knockout format (detailed schedule here). India will play with Spain, Azerbaijan and hosts Ireland in Pool B and Pool A has Japan, South Africa, United States and Scotland.
Indian team will play their first match of the challenge against host Ireland on June 18, followed by matches against Spain on June 19 and Azerbaijan on June 21. The semifinals and final of the event will be played on June 25 and 26.
Goalkeepers: Yogita Bali, Savita.
Defenders: Joydeep Kaur, Jaspreet Kaur, Preeti Sunila Kiro.
Midfielders: Asunta Lakra, Ritu Rani, Roselind Ralte, Deepika, Kirandeep Kaur, Mukta Prava Barla.
Forwards: Saba Anjum (captain), Rani, Jasjeet Kaur Handa (vice-captain), Anuradha Devi, Chanchan Devi, Soundarya Yendala, Poonam.
Standbys: E Rajini (goalkeeper), Vaishali Sul (defender) Rashmi Singh (forward), Roselin Dung Dung (forward)
India’s fixtures (detailed schedule):
June 18 – India vs Ireland
June 19 – India vs Spain
June 21 – India vs Azerbaijan