Chikara to replace Halappa as stand-by

New Delhi: Experienced forward Bharat Chikara is set to replace Arjun Halappa as a stand-by in the Indian hockey team for this month`s Olympic Qualifiers after the former captain left the national camp following his omission from the main squad.

Minutes after Halappa was named as one of the four stand-bys for the London Olympic qualifiers to be held here from February 18-26, the veteran mid-fielder left for his hometown, Bangalore in disgust.

While Halappa was mulling retirement from international hockey after the snub, the other three stand-by players -- Manjeet Kullu, V S Vinay and Chingelsana Singh -- are training with the 18-member team at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here.

"Bharat (Chikara) is training with the team and will replace Arjun as a stand-by. Arjun is not here with the team. He left the national camp, disappointed with his omission from the main squad," said a Hockey India selector.

India captain Bharat Chetri also confirmed that Chikara is training with the team as Halappa`s replacement.


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