PR Sreejesh replacing Sardar isn't a distraction, all 16 players are captains of team: Vice-captain SV Sunil
Sreejesh led the Roelant Oltmans-coached side to a silver medal at the Champions Trophy in London in June, where Sardar was rested.
New Delhi: With less than a month for the Rio Olympics to begin, Hockey India made a bold move on Tuesday as they replaced long-time captain Sardar Singh with PR Sreejesh.
The reports are rife that the move came as a result of the ongoing controversy, where Sardar has been accused of sexual and mental harassment by a India-born British female hockey player.
Speaking to CNN News 18, star striker SV Sunil, who was named the vice-captain, said that the move won't be a distraction for the team as all 16 players are captains.
Sunil's further said that after a poor show at London Olympics, the team had worked hard and he was hopeful of a much better show at Rio Games next month.
Sreejesh led the Roelant Oltmans-coached side to a silver medal at the Champions Trophy in London in June, where Sardar was rested. In the subsequent six-nation invitational tournament that followed the Champions Trophy, Sardar came back to lead the side only to finish at a disappointing fifth.
In Rio, India have been clubbed with giants Germany and Netherlands, where the hockey competition for the first time will see quarter-finals after the league stage. Top four teams from each of the two groups progress to the last-eight stage.
India finished last among the 12 countries that participated at the London Olympics in 2012. The five-time gold medal winners, however, were the first team to qualify for Rio after they beat Pakistan in the 2014 Asian Games final.
(With Agency inputs)