Bhubaneswar: Two players from Odisha have been included in the 18-member Indian Women’s Hockey team announced by Hockey India on Friday for the forthcoming Tokyo Olympics 2020 Test Event.
The players from Odisha include Defender Deep Grace Ekka and Midfielder Lilima Minz.
The mega event is scheduled to take place in Tokyo, Japan from 17th – 21st August 2019.
The Indian team will be captained by Rani, while Savita will be her deputy under the Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne.
The Indian team, currently ranked No. 10 in the FIH Rankings, will be facing tough challenges as they will be up against the likes of World No. 2 Australia, World No. 11 China and hosts Japan who are currently ranked 14th in the FIH Rankings.
Senior players Sunita Lakra and Jyoti were left out in the team that participated at the FIH Women’s Series Finals Hiroshima 2019. They were replaced by youngsters Sharmila Devi and Reena Khokhar.
The team consists of experienced Goalkeepers Savita and Rajani Etimarpu, who will look to guard India’s goalpost, while Defenders Deep Grace Ekka, Reena Khokhar, Gurjit Kaur, Salima Tete, and Nisha have also been included in the 18-member team.
Midfielders Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Nikki Pradhan, Monika, Lilima Minz and Neha Goyal will look to command the midfield. Rani, Navneet Kaur, Vandana Katariya, Lalremsiami, Navjot Kaur and Sharmila Devi are the Forwards who have been picked in the team.
“We are looking forward to playing three top countries at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 Test Event as I rate them all highly. We have selected a squad of 18 players where only 16 players will be allowed to play in accordance to the Olympic standards,” said Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne looking ahead to the event.
“I will be very interested to see how we fare against these countries, and what we need to improve for the FIH Olympic Qualifiers because everything that we do, will be focused on that. We will be learning good lessons in this tour regardless of whatever happens,” he added.
Indian Women’s Hockey Team:
Rani – (Captain), Savita (GK and Vice-Captain), Rajani Etimarpu, Deep Grace Ekka, Reena Khokhar, Gurjit Kaur, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Salima Tete, Nisha, Nikki Pradhan, Monika, Lilima Minz, Lilima Minz, Neha Goyal, Navneet Kaur, Vandana Katariya, . Lalremsiami, Navjot Kaur and Sharmila Devi.