Sardar to lead Indian hockey team for Netherlands tour
New Delhi: Ace mid-fielder Sardar Singh will lead an 18-member senior Indian men`s hockey team for the tour of the Netherlands from April 27 to May 9.
The tour is seen as a preparation for the FIH men`s Hockey World League Round- 3(Semi-finals) to be played at Rotterdam, Netherlands from 13-23 in June this year.
Drag-flicker V R Ragunath has been named as the Sardar`s deputy for the tour.
Ace drag-flicker Sandeep Singh, who was left out of the Indian squad for the FIH Hockey World League Round 2 held here earlier this year, has made a comeback to the national side along with young striker Yuvraj Walmiki who has made the squad in place of injured Gurwinder Singh Chandi.
Notable absentees from the squad are midfielder Birendra Lakra, who has opted out of the tour because of his college examination and India`s first choice goalkeeper P R Sreejesh, who is getting married during that time.
According to a statement from Hockey India, the squad was selected by HI selectors Balbir Singh, BP Govinda, chief coach Michael Nobbs, Roelant Oltmans (Director-High Performance) alongwith government observer Harbinder Singh after a selection trials conducted at SAI Centre, Bangalore on April 16.
During the tour, India will play seven games -- two against the Netherlands national team and five versus Dutch club sides.
India has already qualified for the FIH World League Round-3(Semi-finals) in February this year. The FIH World League is also qualifier for the World Cup 2014 to be played in Hague, the Netherlands.
Goalkeepers: PT Rao, Nanak Singh
Defender: VR Raghunath (vice-captain), Rupinder Pal Singh, Harbir Singh Sandhu, Kothajit Singh, Gurmail Singh, Sandeep Singh
Midfielder: Sardar Singh (captain), Manpreet Singh, Dharamvir Singh, Danish Mujtaba, SK Uthappa
Forwards: S V Sunil, Chinglensana Singh, Nithin Thimmaiah, Akashdeep Singh, Yuvraj Walmiki.