Ritu to lead India in Junior Women Asia Cup

New Delhi: Mid-fielder Ritu Rani was named captain of 18-member Indian hockey team for the sixth Junior Women`s Asia Cup to be held in Bangkok, Thailand from June 27.

The squad features two goalkeepers, three defenders, six mid-fielders and seven forwards, including vice-captain Poonam Rani. The selectors also named eight stand-by players.

The trials to select the Indian team were conducted at SAI Centre, Bhopal on June 1 and 2 and were witnessed by Hockey India selectors Col Balbir Singh, Thoiba Singh and Savitri Purti, alongwith government observer Harbinder Singh.

India have been placed in Pool A along with China, Malaysia, Singapore and Sri Lanka while Korea, Japan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan and hosts Thailand are in Pool B.

India will play their opening match against Sri Lanka on June 27 followed by matches against Singapore, China and Malaysia.

The tournament is a qualifying event for the FIH Junior Women`s World Cup to be held next year.

India had won bronze medal in the last edition of Junior Women Asia Cup played at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2008.

The Squad:

Goalkeepers: Sukhmani Virk and Bigan Soy

Defenders: Pinki Devi, Deep Grace Ekka, Manjeet Kaur

Midfielders: P Sushila Chanu, Nikki Pradhan, Monika Malik, Namita Toppo, Kiran Dahiya, Ritu Rani

Forwards: Poonam Rani, Vandana Katariya, Lilima Minz, Anupa Barla, Navneet Kaur, Navjot Kaur (Sr) And M Lily Chanu.

Standbys: Jaspreet Kaur (Goal Keeper), Apoorva Vishwakarma (Defender), Diksha Tiwari (Defender), Manmeet Kaur (Midfielder), Reena Rani (Midfielder), Neha Goel (Forward), Pooja Kundu (Forward), Surabhi Pradhan (Forward).