India names 30-member probables for AFC Challenge Cup camp

New Delhi: Winger Steven Dias got the axe as India on Wednesday announced 30 probables for the preparatory camp for next month`s AFC Challenge Cup football tournament in Kathmandu.

Dias played in the SAFF Championships, which India won here in December last but has been struggling for form of late and his axing did not come as a surprise.

Star striker Sunil Chhetri returns in the mix after recovering from an ankle injury which he sustained during the SAFF Championships while his strike partner Jeje Lalpekhlua had to be left out as he has been injured during an I-League match last month.

The camp will not have senior players in defender Mahesh Gawli and midfielder Climax Lawrence -- who were integral part of the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup held in India after winning which the country qualified for the 2011 Asian Cup in Doha.

Lawrence, who was the captain of the SAFF Championships winning team, announced his retirement yesterday after he came to know that coach Savio Medeira would not pick him for the AFC Challenge Cup.

The national camp will start in Dubai from February 15 and the final list of 23 players will be announced later.

The AFC Challenge Cup, whose winners will qualify for the 2015 Asian Cup in Australia, will be held in Kathmandu from March 8 to 19.

The squad will assemble in New Delhi on February 13 and leave for Dubai the next day. India are scheduled to play Oman in an international friendly match on February 23 in Muscat.

The Probables:

Goalkeepers: Karanjit Singh, Subhasish Roychowdhury, Arindam Bhattacharya, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.

Defenders: Nirmal Chhetri, Raju Gaikwad, Sameer Naik, Gourmangi Singh, Anwar Ali, Kinsukh Debnath, Syed Rahim Nabi, Arnab Mondal, Gurjinder Singh.

Midfielders: Adil Khan, Anthony Pereira, Clifford Miranda, Reisangmi Vashum, Baldeep Singh, Lester Fernandes, Rocus Lamare, Francis Fernandes, Jewel Raja, Manish Mathani, Lenny Rodrigues, Lalrindika Ralte.

Forwards: Sunil Chhetri, Sushil Singh, CS Sabeeth, Manandeep Singh, Joaquim Abranches.


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