P.R. Sreejesh, Rani Rampal to lead India until end of 2018

“The idea behind announcing one captain for all events, until the end of the year, was to bring stability to the core of both the teams,” said Mohd Mushtaque Ahmed, Hockey India’s secretary general.

Sreejesh returns to the leadership role after coming back from an injury break, while Rani continues in her position for all the tournaments in 2018. (File Photos)   -  K. Murali Kumar & PTI

Hockey India (HI), on Friday, announced P.R. Sreejesh and Rani Rampal as captains of the senior men’s and women’s teams, respectively, until the end of 2018.

Sreejesh returns to the leadership role after coming back from an injury break, while Rani continues in her position for all the tournaments in 2018, including the Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018, slated in July, and the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta.

Sreejesh was given the captaincy in 2016 for the FIH Champions Trophy, where India, under his leadership, won a historic silver medal. He was entrusted the leadership mantle for the Rio Olympics as well.

He also shouldered the responsibility of mentoring the junior men’s team, as goalkeepers Vikas Dahiya and Krishan Pathak put up excellent performances at the Junior World Cup in 2016, when host India won the title.

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During the 2017 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, the experienced goalkeeper tore his anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. Sreejesh returned to action at the four-nation invitational hockey tournament in New Zealand, in January 2018, putting up a strong performance, where India finished second.

Rani, meanwhile, stepped up into the role of captain, guiding India to an Asia Cup win. Under her leadership, the team climbed from 12th to the 10th position. Always leading from the front, Rani also helped the team to make it to the semifinals, a first in 12 years, at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games (CWG).

“Besides being exceptional players, both Sreejesh and Rani command great respect. The two have led the country with great enthusiasm and we believe using their experience, they will continue to do that in this all-important calendar year, where both the teams have important tournaments like the World Cup and the Asian Games to play in,” said Mohd Mushtaque Ahmed, Hockey India’s secretary general.

“The idea behind announcing one captain for all events, until the end of the year, was to bring stability to the core of both the teams.”

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