Experienced Goalkeeper Bharat Chetri will lead Indian Men’s hockey team in the Olympic qualifiers “Hero FIH Road to London” to be held at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, New Delhi from February 18 to 26. Indian two-wheeler giant, Hero MotoCorp Limited (HMCL) will be the title sponsor for the first men’s and women’s hockey Olympics Qualifying Tournament for the London Olympics.
While former captain Rajpal Singh, who is still not match-fit after an appendix surgery, and Gurbaj Singh who got injured during the camp are among the notable absentees in the squad of 18, while veteran midfielder Arjun Halappa could only make it to the list of four standbys alongside Manjeet Kullu, VS Vinaya and Chinglensana Singh.
India is the host of Olympic qualifiers for both men and women in the capital city of Delhi. The women’s team is scheduled to be announced later this week.
The Indian men’s team will be fight for the birth in London 2012 against Canada, France, Italy, Poland and Singapore, who replaced USA after they pulled out of the tournament in the eleventh hour.
Pawan Munjal, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Hero MotoCorp Limited, said, “Hockey, being the national sport of the country, holds a special place in our hearts and we are pleased to partner with FIH in presenting the Hero FIH Road to London.We have always believed in nurturing and supporting various sporting disciplines including cricket, golf, shooting and hockey.”
The Indian men`s team enters the tournament as favourites being the highest ranked side amongst the six nations competing in the event.
Goalkeepers: Bharat Chetri (Captain), PR Sreejesh
Defenders: Sandeep Singh, VR Raghunath, Rupinderpal Singh
Midfielders: Sardar Singh (vice captain), Manpreet Singh, Birendra Lakra, Ignace Tirkey, Kothajit Singh
Forwards: SV Sunil, Sarvanjit Singh, Shivendra Singh, Gurvinder Singh Chandi, Tushar Khandker, Danish Mujtaba, Yuvraj Walmiki, SK Uthappa
Standbys: Manjeet Kullu (defender), VS Vinaya (midfielder), Arjun Halappa (midfielder), Chinglensana Singh (forward)