Sardar named coach of India 'A' men's hockey team for CWG, Thakur to guide women's side

In a surprise development, the trio of Rupinder Pal Singh, Birender Lakra and SV Sunil returned from retirement and were named among the men's 33 crore probables to be eligible for selection for the Birmingham CWG team.

Sardar Singh was named Indian men's A hockey team coach that will take part in the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.   -  FILE PHOTO/K. MURALI KUMAR

Former captain Sardar Singh and ex-striker Deepak Thakur were on Saturday respectively named coaches of Indian men's and women's 'A' hockey teams which will take part in the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

In a surprise development, Tokyo Olympic bronze medallist duo of Rupinder Pal Singh and Birender Lakra as well veteran forward SV Sunil also returned from retirement as they were named among the men's 33 core probables to be eligible for selection for the Birmingham CWG team. The trio had retired from the game in quick succession just after the Tokyo Olympics last year.

The Indian men's and women's 'A' teams will be taking part in this year's Commonwealth Games after Hockey India decided against sending the main squads for the multi-sport event due to the short turnaround between the CWG and the Hangzhou Asian Games, which is a qualifying tournament for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The two events have just a gap of 32 days and the national federation wants to keep its players fresh for the Asian Games. The development came after a meeting chaired by Sports Secretary Sujata Chaturvedi on February 15, wherein the Indian contingent's preparation in eight high priority disciplines for the upcoming 2022 Commonwealth Games and 2022 Asian Games was discussed by the national sports federations and Sports Authority of India.

The national federation on Saturday also announced a list of 33 players each for the India 'A' men and women's core probables group.

Both the teams will begin the national camp at the SAI Centre in Bengaluru from March 7.

"The selection of this group of 33 players each for the India 'A' women and men's core group is a positive development aimed at widening the talent pool for selection of the respective men's and women's national teams.

"We are really happy to have stalwarts like Deepak Thakur and Sardar Singh join the national coaching programme. The wealth of experience, technical know-how and world class ability that they both will bring to the table will be extremely beneficial for this group of players, which will in turn strengthen Indian hockey manifold," HI president Gyanendro Ningombam said in a statement.

Experienced forward Ramandeep Singh is also eligible for selection following his inclusion in the list of core probables.

The Core Probables:

India 'A' men: Prashant Kumar Chauhan (goalkeeper), Pawan (goalkeeper), Pankaj Kumar Rajak (goalkeeper), Sahil Kumar Nayak (goalkeeper), Rupinder Pal Singh (defender), Birendra Lakra (defender), Manjeet (defender), Yashdeep Siwach (defender), Moirangthem Dinachandra Singh (defender), Abhisek Lakra (defender), Faraz Mohd (defender), Akshay Avhad (defender), Nabin Kujur (defender), Abhishek Pratap Singh (defender), Mareeswaran Sakthivel (midfielder), Sushil Dhanwar (midfielder), Sheshe Gowda B M (midfielder), Bharath K R (midfielder), Gregory Xess (midfielder), Darshan Vibhav Gawkar (midfielder), Sandeep Singh (midfielder/forward), Ramandeep Singh (forward), Maninder Singh (forward), S Karthi (forward), Prabhjot Singh (forward), Pawan Rajbhar (forward), Abharan Sudev (forward), Pardeep Singh (forward), Mohd Umar (forward), Harsahib Singh (forward), S V Sunil (forward), Sunit Lakra (forward), Rahul Ekka (forward).

India 'A' women: Rashanpreet Kaur (goalkeeper), F Ramenmawi (goalkeeper), Sheweta (goalkeeper), Simran Singh (defender), Gagandeep Kaur (defender), Marina Lalramnghaki (defender), Priyanka (defender), Reet (defender), Reema Baxla (defender), Mudita (defender), Sumita (defender), Khusbu Kujur (defender/midfielder), Rinki Kujur (defender/midfielder), Premanjali Toppo (defender/midfielder), Prabhleen Kaur (midfielder), Ajmina Kujur (midfielder), Sushma Kumari (midfielder), Jyoti (midfielder), Mary Kandulana (midfielder), Amandeep Kaur (midfielder), Kavita Bagdi (midfielder), Kirandeep Kaur (midfielder), Chetna (forward), Yogita Bora (forward), Jiwan Kishori Toppo (forward), Lalrindiki (forward), Sarabdeep Kaur (forward), Raju Ranwa (forward), Neeraj Rana (forward), Kanchan Nidhi Kerketta (forward), Anjali Gautam (forward), Monika Dipi Toppo (forward), Dipti Lakra (forward).

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