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Indian women's hockey team for Commonwealth Games named, Rani Rampal not among the 18

Indian womens hockey team for Commonwealth Games named, Rani Rampal not among the 18

NEW DELHI: An 18-member women's hockey team was announced by India on Thursday for the Commonwealth Games. Star striker Rani Rampal was not included yet again on account of her not regainng complete health after an injury.

This team is similar to the one that is set to compete in the World Cup next month.

In the Birmingham CWG, which will be held from July 28 to August 8 will see the side captained by goalkeeper Savita Punia while experienced defender Deep Grace Ekka will be her deputy.

In the World Cup co-hosted by the Netherlands and Spain from July 1 to 17, this pair will assume the same roles

The World Cup team will differ from the CWG squad only in three ways.

Bichu Devi Kharibam was replaced by Rajani Etimarpu as the number two goalkeeper, while midfielder Sonika has been dropped from the CWG squad.

Forward Sangitha Kumari, who was selected as one of the substitutes for the World Cup, has been named as a full member of the CWG team.

Along with England, Canada, Wales and Ghana, India has been placed in pool A and will begin the match on July 29 against Ghana.

Rani, who led the Indian women to a historic fourth-place finish at the Tokyo Olympics, was selected in recent FIH Pro League matches in Belgium and the Netherlands after recovering from a hamstring injury.

She did not play in the first four matches of the side's European leg of Pro League which raised doubts about her fitness and it eventually cost her a spot on the World Cup-bound squad.

India placed fourth after conceding defeat to England in the bronze medal match in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast.

However, after a remarkable campaign in their maiden FIH Pro League, they finished third behind Argentina and the Netherlands, and the Indian team is looking for a podium finish in Birmingham.

Chief coach Janneke Schopman spoke about the team selection and 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 understand 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.

Indian Women's Hockey Team for CWG: 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.

With PTI inputs

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TAGS:Commonwealth Games Women's Hockey India 
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