Ritu Rani to lead 16-member team in CWG
New Delhi: Hockey India (HI) on Wednesday announced its Senior Women Hockey team to be led by midfielder Ritu Rani for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games, scheduled to take place at Glasgow from July 23 to August 3.
Defender Deepika (126 caps) will be the vice-captain of the 16-member squad. During the selection trials conducted at NIS Patiala on June 28-29, the HI selectors -- B P Govinda, Harbinder Singh, Surinder Kaur along with Director High Performance Roelant Oltmans, Chief Coach Neil Hawgood and Scientific Advisor Matthew Tredrea -- shortlisted the side.
The women`s team, which recently posted a great performance against Malaysia, will be taking on Canada in their first match on July 24, followed by matches against New Zealand on July 27, Trinidad and Tobago on July 28 and South Africa on July 30.
The preparatory camp of the Indian team is currently underway in Patiala and will be held till its departure on July 9 for Scotland.
"The team showcased good play, team spirit and a go getter spirit in the recently concluded Malaysian Tour. Each one of them had performed remarkably under the proficient leadership of Ritu Rani and has earned their position to make it to the team for the all important Commonwealth Games," chief coach, Neil Hawgood said.
"I hope the team continues its form during the Commonwealth Games and make itself a team where the opponents feel the pressure of meeting them on the field," he said.
Ritu Rani said her team was confident of bringing laurels to the country. "It`s an honour to captain a team which is capable of beating any team on any given day. The entire team is looking forward to the upcoming tournament and we are confident that we will win and get back laurels. We are ready and excited for our first clash against Canada in our opening match," Rani said.
Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka, Deepika (vice-capt), Kirandeep Kaur, Namita Toppo, Jaspreet Kaur.
Midfielders: Ritu Rani (capt), Sushila Chanu, Lilima Minz, Vandana Katariya, Navjot Kaur.
Forwards: Rani, Poonam Rani, Ritusha Arya, Anupa Barla, Anuradha Devi.