New Delhi: Four Odisha players-Sunita Lakra, Deep Grace Ekka, Namita Toppo and Lilima Minz were named Friday in the 18-member Indian squad for the women’s hockey World Cup to be played in London, starting July 12.
However forward Anupa Barla of Odisha, who has been playing consistently for the Indian team for last few years has been dropped from the squad. Stating about the axing of Barla coach Sjoerd Marijne said that few important players have been dropped to balance the team.
“It was not an easy decision to select the 18-member team as all the core probables have worked really hard in the national camp. However, we feel that this 18-member team will be the best mixture to be successful at the Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018,” said Marijne.
Forward Rani Rampal was named as the captain of team while goalkeeper Savita has been named as her deputy. The tournament will also witness the return of goalkeeper Rajani Etimarpu after having rested for the Spain Tour.
India’s defence will consist of Sunita Lakra, Deep Grace Ekka, Deepika, drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur and youngster Reena Khokhar who makes a comeback into the team. In the midfield, Namita Toppo, Lilima Minz, Monika, Neha Goyal, Navjot Kaur and Nikki Pradhan will hold fort.
Ace-striker Rani will be linking up with the experienced Vandana Katariya while Navneet Kaur, Lalremsiami and Udita will also provide them support in attack.
India have been placed in Pool B alongside hosts and World No.2 England, World No.7 USA and World No.16 Ireland.
The squad: (Goalkeepers) Savita, Rajani Etimarpu; (Defenders) Sunita Lakra, Deep Grace Ekka, Deepika, Gurjit Kaur, Reena Khokhar; (Midfielders) Namita Toppo, Lilima Minz, Monika, Neha Goyal, Navjot Kaur, Nikki Pradhan; (Forwards) Rani Rampal, Vandana Katariya, Navneet Kaur, Lalremsiami, Udita.