Chetri to lead Indian hockey team in Europe
New Delhi: Goalkeeper Bharat Chetri has been retained captain of the Indian hockey team for the upcoming European tour during which they will play Test matches followed by a three-nation invitational tournament in Spain.
The assignments in Europe are part of India`s preparations for the London Olympics, scheduled to start on July 27.
Sardar Singh will be the vice-captain of the 22-member team that will play a two-match Test series against France from June 28-30 followed by the tournament in Santander from July 14-18.
India will play the two Test matches in Lille before travelling to Santander, where they will again play two matches each against Spain and South Africa from July 5-11.
Selection trials were conducted at the Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune on June 6 and 7 under the watchful eyes of Hockey India selectors B P Govinda and Col. Balbir Singh, along with Government observer Harbinder Singh.
Besides Indian and Spain, the three-nation tournament will feature Great Britain.
The tournament will be played on the blue artificial turf with yellow kookaburra balls.
During the three-week tour of France and Spain, India will play a total of eight matches before shifting to the Olympic Village in London.
The matches are expected to help the Indian team acclimatise to the European conditions which will be similar to those in London in July and August.
Goalkeepers: Bharat Chetri (Captain), P R Sreejesh
Defenders: V R Raghunath, Ignace Tirkey, Sandeep Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh
Midfielders: Sardar Singh (vice-captain), Kothajit Singh, Gurbaj Singh, Birendra Lakra, Manpreet Singh
Forwards: SV Sunil, Gurwinder Singh Chandi, Sarvanjit Singh, Shivendra Singh, Danish Mujtaba, Tushar Khandker, Dharamvir Singh, Chinglensana Singh, S K Uthappa, Nithin Thimmaiah, Pradhan Somanna.