New Delhi: Veteran midfielder Ritu Rani will lead an 18-member Indian women`s hockey team in the eighth Asia Cup to be played in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from September 21 to 27.
"Hockey India Selectors B P Govinda, Surinder Kaur, Mamta Kharab, Chief Coach Neil Hawgood, Coach I S Gill and Scientific Advisor Matthew Tredrea alongwith Government Observer Harbinder Singh selected the 18 players and 6 standbys during the trials conducted in Patiala on August 30 and 31," HI said in a statement.
Ritu has 157 India appearances to her credit. The 18-member squad will have another mid-fielder Chanchan Devi Thokchom (88 caps) as the vice-captain.
The team`s training camp is has been underway in Patiala since August 8 as final preparations for the tournament. The team will depart for Malaysia on September 16.
India are placed in Pool A with China, hosts Malaysia and Hong Kong China while Korea, Japan, Kazakhstan and Chinese Taipei are placed in Pool B.
India will open their campaign against Hong Kong China on September 21 followed by China on September 22 and hosts Malaysia on September 24.
The Women`s Asia Cup is the continental qualification tournament for the FIH Women`s World Cup 2014 to be played in The Hague, The Netherlands from 31 May-14 June 2014.
List of 18 players is as under-
Goalkeepers: Rajani Etimarpu, Savita
Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka, Joydeep Kaur, Kirandeep Kaur, Sunita Lakra, Deepika, Namita Toppo, P Sushila Chanu, M N Ponnamma
Midfielders: Ritu Rani (Captain), Chanchan Devi Thokchom (Vice-Captain), Soundarya Yendala, Lily Chanu
Forwards: Poonam Rani, Rani, Vandana Katariya, Anuradha Devi Thokchom.
Standbys: Sanarik Chanu, Asunta Lakra, Monika Malik, Navjot Kaur, Lilima Minz, Anupa Barla.
I`ve always said the person who wins the world championship this year is the person who does the best job on the circuit, but that does not seem the way it is at the moment.