Indian women`s team leave for hockey WC sans chief coach

Updated: Aug 21, 2010, 18:51 PM IST

New Delhi: Leaving behind off-field
controversies, Indian women`s hockey team today left for
Rosario, Argentina to participate in the World Cup to be held
there August 28 to September 11.

The Surinder Kaur-led Indian side, who are travelling to
Argentina without a head coach after the sacking of MK Kaushik
for his alleged involvement in a sex scandal, open their
campaign against defending champions Netherlands on August 30.

They have been clubbed in a tough Pool A alongside the
Netherlands, Australia, Germany, Japan and New Zealand.

After the Netherlands match, India play Australia on
September 1 before taking on Germany (September 3), Japan
(September 5) and New Zealand (September 7).

India will also play practice matches against Spain,
Argentina and England before the start of the tournament to be
played at the Country of Rosario Jockey Club.

The build up to the tournament has been marred by a sex
scandal involving former chief coach MK Kaushik.

The scandal led to the resignation of Kaushik following
which four coaches -- Sandeep Somesh, Khalid Modi, Sandeep
Kaur and Pritam Siwach -- have been appointed to guide the
team in Argentina.

Hockey India, however, said that it was not expecting
any miracle from the team in Argentina as it is participating
the tournament without a chief coach.

"The team has gone to Argentina without a chief coach
even though Hockey India had recommended the name of Mr C R
Kumar to the Government, in place of Mr M K Kaushik who has
since resigned," HI said in a statement.

"Mr C R Kumar is a very experienced and learned coach
having been with the Indian Men National team for many years
besides being the head coach of the Malaysian women`s team at
the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games.”

"The Indian women`s team for this World Cup has gone with
a set of coaches, including a few who have coached the girls
for less than one week. In view of this, there may be a
possibility for the team to not produce the expected results,"
it added.

The Squad:

Goalkeepers: Dipika Murty, Etimarpu Rajani

Defenders: Binita Toppo, Subhadra Pradhan, Joydeep Kaur

Midfielders: Asunta Lakra, Kirandeep Kaur, Mukta P Barla,
Deepika Thakur, Ritu Rani

Forwards: Surinder Kaur, Jasjeet Kaur Handa, Soundarya
Yendala, Rani Rampal, Saba Anjum, Chanchan Devi Thokchom,
Poonam Rani, Monika Badran

Officials: Sandeep Somesh, Khalid Modi, Sandeep Kaur,
Pritam Siwach (coach)