Forward Lalremsiami, who was a part of the Indian senior women’s hockey team which finished fourth at the Tokyo Olympics, will lead the country’s 18-member junior squad at the FIH World Cup starting in South Africa from December 5. The event will witness 16 top teams from across the globe battle for the title which was previously won by Argentina in 2016. While the 21-year-old Lalremsiami will captain the squad, defender Ishika Chaudhary will shoulder the responsibility of vice-captaincy.
The team also includes Salima Tete and Sharmila Devi, who were part of the senior team at the Tokyo Olympics. Preeti and Prabhleen Kaur have been chosen as alternate players who will be permitted to compete if there is an injury or someone in the squad is ruled out due to COVID-19.
“To pick the final selection of 18 players was extremely difficult especially as all 28 players in the Core Probable Group worked very hard in the past months and made good progress,” Chief Coach Women, Janneke Schopman said in a release issued by Hockey India (HI).
“But we feel that we have selected a strong team that is able to compete with every team at the Junior World Cup. With the experience from the Senior team and some great young talent we will show the best India has to give. The team is very excited as they have waited a long time to compete at the world stage and we’re looking forward to making the most of this great opportunity,” Janneke added.
India’s best performance in this prestigious event came in 2013 where they won the bronze medal after beating England. India, who are grouped in Pool C, will begin their campaign on December 6 against Russia.
They will take on defending champions Argentina on December 7 in their second match in the round-robin league, followed by a clash against Japan on December 9.
The knockout matches will take place between December 10 and December 16.
The teams in the fray include the Netherlands, Korea, Ireland, Zimbabwe in Pool A, England, Belgium, Canada and Uruguay in Pool B.
Argentina, India, Japan and Russia in Pool C while Germany, Spain, United States and South Africa are in Pool D.
India Squad: Lalremsiami (C), Ishika Chaudhary (VC), Bichu Devi Kharibam (GK), Khushboo (GK), Akshata Abaso Dhekale, Priyanka, Marina Lalramnghaki, Ajmina Kujur, Baljeet Kaur, Reet, Vaishnavi Vitthal Phalke, Salima Tete, Sharmila Devi, Beauty Dungdung, Deepika, Mumtaz Khan, Sangita Kumari, Jiwan Kishori Toppo.
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