Hockey camps at SAI extended after Dutch tour cancellation

The ongoing camps of the Indian men and women hockey probables have been extended as the tour of Netherlands stands cancelled due to COVID-19.

Graham Reid, chief coach of the Indian men’s Hockey team, during a training session at the SAI in Bengaluru.   -  FILE PHOTO/K. MURALI KUMAR

The ongoing camps of the Indian men and women hockey probables at the Sports Authority of India campus in Bengaluru have been extended after a proposed tour of Netherlands had to be put off due to travel restrictions in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Indian men’s team was scheduled to tour Netherlands for practice matches but the proposal was shelved on the recommendation of coaches and SAI officials because of the health crisis.

Instead, the SAI has now given the go ahead to extend the camps, which were scheduled to end on September 30.

The camp for the men’s team has now been extended for a month till November 28, while the women’s camp will continue till December 12.

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“The hockey camps for both the teams have been extended. The men’s team camp has been extended till September 28 while the women’s camp will be till December 12,” a SAI official told PTI.

“The men’s team wanted to tour Netherlands for a few practice matches but the idea was put off on the recommendation of health experts and chief coaches because of the risk associated with travelling. So, the SAI in consultation with Hockey India has decided to extend the camps.”

The ongoing national camps resumed on August 19 after a month’s break. But despite taking necessary precautions and following COVID-19 related health protocols, six male players, including skipper Manpreet Singh, had tested positive for the virus upon their return in Bengaluru.

The Indian men’s side’s last international outing was in the FIH Pro League in January-February against Netherlands, Belgium and Australia, while the women have not played a match since the tour of New Zealand in January.

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