World Cup: Upadhyay joins Indian hockey team in place of Ramandeep

PTI| Last Updated: May 26, 2014, 18:41 PM IST

New Delhi: Indian forward Lalit Upadhyay arrived at The Hague, Netherlands today afternoon and joined the team ahead of the Hockey World Cup in place of the injured Ramandeep Singh. Ramandeep got seriously injured when a ball hit him during a practice match against Argentina yesterday. He got multiple fractures in his right eye socket and cheekbone, after which he was immediately rushed to the hospital and got the surgery done.

Ramandeep has been released today from the hospital and has been advised complete rest by the doctors and is also due for medical review on May 30.

Post reaching The Hague, Upadhyay said, "Ramandeep`s injury is a sad incident and a big blow for the team. I will give my best to live upto the expectations of the coaches and selectors. I would like to thank the selectors and Hockey India for imposing their faith in me and giving me this opportunity to represent the country in the World Cup.

"This is a moment which is a dream come true for any player across the world and I will give my 100 percent in the tournament." In the recent past, Upadhyay played for Kalinga Lancers during the second edition of the Hero Hockey India League and was regarded as one of the finds apart from Affan Yousuf.

On the basis of his performance during the HIL, he was selected in the 33-men probables for the World Cup and went on to play during the European Tour last month. He has been one of those players who has utilized the opportunities given to him and proved himself on every platform. He was amongst the seven players in the list of stand-bys.

Roelant Oltmans, Director High Performance said, "Injury of Ramandeep Singh is a big loss to us looking ahead the World Cup but I wish him a speedy recovery. I am hopeful that after 4 weeks of recovery period he will make a strong comeback in the team. Lalit Upadhyay also arrived this afternoon to replace Ramandeep.

"Lalit is a young talented player and was also part of our squad for European Tour last month in preparations for the World Cup. I am sure very soon he will adjust himself to the climatic conditions here and will perform well in the tournament."