New Delhi: Odisha lad Dipsan Tirkey has been named as the captain of the 18-member India U-23 men’s hockey team for the six-nation tournament in Belgium, to be played July 14-21. Statemates Shilanand Lakra and Nilam Sanjeep Xess have also found a place in the squad.
Apart from India and hosts Belgium, the other teams participating in the tournament are Great Britain, Ireland, Malaysia and the Netherlands.
India open their campaign against Ireland July 14 before facing Great Britain the next day. India play their third, fourth and fifth matches against Belgium (July 17), Malaysia (July 18) and the Netherlands (July 20) respectively.
The top two teams at the end of the round-robin matches will face each other in the final July 21.
Dipsan, Nilam and Shilanand were all part of the Indian team that finished a disappointing fifth in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia earlier in March. Shilanand scored three goals in that tournament.
According to Hockey India (HI) high performance director David John the tournament will provide the boys with the much needed exposure before the VIIIth Sultan of Johor Cup in October.
“It will be a crucial tournament for some of the players as this will be their first major international exposure, but the majority of the players have represented the junior or the senior team which is always a good sign,” John added.