Hockey India on Thursday announced an 18-member women’s team for the 2022 Commonwealth Games slated to be held in Birmingham, England in July-August. The squad is pretty much similar to the one announced for the FIH Women’s World Cup. Savita Punia has retained her place as the captain of the side as regular skipper Rani Rampal is still not available for selection.
Defender Deep Grace Ekka will be playing Savita’s deputy. “The team will be Captained by Savita and Vice-Captained by experienced defender Deep Grace Ekka,” Hockey India said in a statement.
The squad includes goalkeepers Savita and Rajani Etimarpu. Defenders Deep Grace Ekka, Gurjit Kaur, Nikki Pradhan, and Udita have been named in the squad along with midfielders Nisha, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, and Monika, Neha, Jyoti, Navjot Kaur, and Salima Tete. The forward line features the very experienced Vandana Katariya, Lalremsiami, Navneet Kaur, Sharmila Devi, and youngster Sangita Kumari.
Speaking about the team selection, Chief Coach Janneke Schopman said, “We have chosen an experienced side for the Commonwealth Games and the players believe they have a good shot at a medal this time.”
“The team is upbeat after a good outing in the FIH Pro League matches and understands very well that the expectations are also high. We would have finished our World Cup campaign only days before the CWG so it was very essential for us to pick a physically fit team as the recovery time between the two events is just about 10 days,” added Schopman.
India to begin campaign against Ghana
The Women in Blue have been placed in Pool A along with England, Canada, Wales, and Ghana. They will begin their CWG 2022 campaign against Ghana on 29 July. The Savita Punia-led team will hope to put on an improved performance from the last edition where they had finished fourth after a loss to England in the Bronze medal match.
India Women’s Hockey team for CWG 2022
Goalkeepers: Savita (C), Rajani Etimarpu
Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka (VC), Gurjit Kaur, Nikki Pradhan, Udita
Midfielders: Nisha, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Monika, Neha, Jyoti, Navjot Kaur, Salima Tete
Forwards: Vandana Katariya, Lalremsiami, Navneet Kaur, Sharmila Devi, Sangita Kumari.