New Delhi: Former India captain Bhaichung Bhutia is among the 32 probables for the three international football friendlies against Pakistan in England next month.
Along with Bhaichung, who had led the team for the last 10 years, veteran mid-fielder Renedy Singh was also among the probables. They were a part of India`s disastrous campaign in the Asian Cup and were dropped along with 12 other seniors by India coach Armando Colaco, who took over last month.
Both Bhutia and Renedy were also the part of the Indian team that last toured England in 2000 for three practice matches against West Bromwich, Fulham FC and Bangladesh national team. Bhutia was playing for Bury FC at that time.
The tour, which has been dubbed as Clash of the Titans - India-Pakistan UK tour - will be played August 25-September 11.
Bhutia, Renedy and goalkeeper Subrata Paul are the three seniors among the probables. The team will be pruned to 24 by under-23 coach Desmond Bulpin.
"The plan was to send a under-23 team under Bulpin. But we decided to select the three seniors to add some star value to the series," said an official of the All India Football Federation (AIFF).
Bhutia, who is busy managing his newly form second division club United Sikkim, had informed the AIFF that he would be available for the series subject to fitness.
The friendlies are being organised by TouchSky Sports (TSS) and the matches will be played at Manchester, Coventry and London. The Indian team would get 10,000 pounds as appearance money for each match and their travel and hotel expenses would also be taken care of by the organisers.
Goalkeepers: Subrata Pal, Laxmikant Kattimani, Jagroop Singh, Ravi Kumar
Defenders: Debabrata Roy, Raju Eknath Gaikwad, Deepak Devrani, Nirmal Chhetri, Arnab Mondal, R.Vishal Kumar, Abhishek Das, Lalrozama Fanai, Sabas Saleel, Gurjinder Kumar, Shouvik Ghosh
Midfielders: Renedy Singh, Jewel Raja Sheikh, Shilton D`Silva, Gilbert Oliveira, Ongnam Milan Singh, Jibon Singh, Subodh Kumar, Lalrindika Ralte, Snehasish Chakraborthy, Anthony Barbosa, Zakir Mundampara
Forwards: Bhaichung Bhutia, Sunil Chhetri, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Sabeeth CS, Bijendra Rai, Bineesh Balan