New Delhi: Hockey India on Friday announced PR Sreejesh and Rani Rampal as captains of the senior men’s and women’s national teams, respectively, until the end of 2018.
Sreejesh returns to the leadership role after it was handed over to Manpreet after the star goalkeeper injured his knee at the 2017 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. Rani, meanwhile, continues in her position.
Sreejesh was initially appointed captain ahead of the 2016 FIH Champions Trophy where India won a historic silver medal. He took over the job from Sardar Singh and continued to hold it for the Rio Olympics.
During the 2017 Azlan Shah, Sreejesh tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, which put him out of action for eight months. Sreejesh returned to action at the four-nation invitational hockey tournament in New Zealand in January this year and put up a strong performance.
“Besides being exceptional players, both Sreejesh and Rani command great respect. The two have led the country with great enthusiasm and we believe using their experience, they will continue to do that in this all-important calendar year where both the teams have important tournaments like the World Cup and Asian Games to play in," said Mohd Mushtaque Ahmed, Secretary General, Hockey India.
"The idea behind announcing one captain for all events until the end of the year was to bring stability to the core of both the teams.”
Under the leadership of Manpreet, India won the Asia Cup in Dhaka last year and then ended up with a bronze medal at the Hockey World League Finals in Bhubaneswar.