Ace forward Rajpal axed from hockey squad for Olympic qualifiers

Last Updated: Jan 30, 2012, 21:30 PM IST

New Delhi: As expected former captain Rajpal Singh was on Monday dropped from the 18-member India squad for the 2012 London Olympic qualifiers to be held at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium Feb 18-26.

India coach Michael Nobbs had indicated last week that Rajpal would need more time to recover for the appendicitis operation that he underwent three months back. Rajpal has been out of action for the past three months.

"Rajpal is going to need a lot of work. He has been out for nearly 12 weeks. He is going to take a few months before getting back into top shape. He probably won`t play (the Olympic qualifiers)," Nobbs had said.

Veteran midfielders Vikram Pillay and Arjun Halappa were also dropped. Halappa, however, was kept as a stand by along with Manjeet Kullu, V.S. Vinaya and Chinglensana Singh.

Bharat Chetri will be leading the side in the tournament, which will be participated by Canada, France, Italy, Poland and Singapore, besides India.

Veteran Ignace Tirkey, hwoever, found a place in the squad alsong with senior strikers Tushar Khandker and Shivendra Singh. The forward line will also see S.V. Sunil Sarvanjit Singh, Gurvinder Singh Chandi, Danish Mujtaba and Yuvraj Walmiki in action.

Squad:

Goalkeepers - Bharat Chetri (Captain), PR Sreejesh. Defenders - Sandeep Singh, VR Raghunath, Rupinderpal Singh.

Midfielders - Sardar Singh (Vice- Captain), Manpreet Singh, Birendra Lakra, Ignace Tirkey, Kothajit Singh.

Forwards - S V Sunil, Sarvanjit Singh, Shivendra Singh, Gurvinder Singh Chandi, Tushar Khandker, Danish Mujtaba, Yuvraj Walmiki, S K Uthappa.

Standbys - Manjeet Kullu (Defender), VS Vinaya (Midfielder), Arjun Halappa (Midfielder), Chinglensana Singh (Forward).

IANS