With only a few days (10 days precisely) left for the 2022 FIH Women’s Hockey World Cup, Hockey India on Tuesday announced an 18-member squad for the quadrennial tournament. Goalkeeper Savita Punia was named the captain of the side with Rani Rampal not available while Deep Grace Ekka was named her deputy. Notably, the 15th edition of the FIH Women’s World Cup kicks off on 1 July 2022 in Spain and Netherlands.
Rani Rampal missed out on the flight to Spain as she is still in her injury rehabilitation. Apart from Rani, all players who were a part of the Tokyo Olympics have retained their places. There are also a few new faces. Midfielders Jyoti and Sonika have been awarded a place based on their recent performances. Meanwhile, Akshata Abaso Dhekale and Sangita Kumari have been named as replacement players.
Chief coach Janneke Schopman spoke on the occasion and explained the composition. “Except Rani, who is still not fully recovered from injury rehabilitation, the team has all the players who were part of the Olympic campaign with inclusions like Jyoti and Sonika who have done well in their roles when given a chance. We will also have Sangita and Akshata who will travel with the team as replacement players. The team is absolutely excited and eager to begin their World Cup campaign. We will utilise the next ten days to fine-tune our game analysis from Pro League performances,” said Schopman.
India begin campaign against England
India is all geared up for a better show at the 15th edition of the quadrennial event. The Women in Blue have been placed in Pool B alongside England, New Zealand and China. They will begin their campaign against England on July 3. The Savita Punia-led team then takes on China on July 5 and New Zealand on July 7 respectively. India will hope for a better show than the last edition in 2018 where they bowed out in the quarterfinals with a defeat to Ireland in penalties.
Goalkeepers: Savita (C), Bichu Devi Kharibam
Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka (VC), Gurjit Kaur, Nikki Pradhan, Udita
Midfielders: Nisha, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Monika, Neha, Jyoti, Navjot Kaur, Sonika, Salima Tete
Forwards: Vandana Katariya, Lalremsiami, Navneet Kaur, Sharmila Devi
Replacement Players: Akshata Abaso Dhekale, Sangita Kumari