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Sardar to lead young squad to Azlan Shah Cup

Sardara Singh

  Sardara Singh

               Sardar Singh will lead an experimental 18-member hockey team in the 25th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup to be held in Ipoh, Malaysia, next month. The team will be without as many as seven senior players including goalkeeper and vice-captain PR Sreejesh. 

               The seven players from the Hockey World League Final squad have been left out as the selectors want to give rest to the seniors ahead of the Olympics.

               Apart from Sreejesh, the most notable omission from the Azlan Shah-bound squad are striker Akashdeep Singh, midfielder Dharamvir Singh, drag-flicker VR Raghunath and ace defender Birendra Lakra. Devinder Walmiki and Lalit Upadahyay were the other two players who were not picked.

                 Sreejesh’s place was taken by young Akash Anil Chikte while SK Uthappa and strikers Mandeep Singh and Nikkin Thimmaiah also made their comebacks.

                  Besides, Surender Singh, Harmanpreet Singh, Harjeet Singh were the other new entrants to the side. SV Sunil has been appointed Sardar’s deputy.

                  “All these players have been playing continuously for the last one year,” said Hockey India selection committee chairman BP Govinda. “We need to give them rest to avoid burnout.” 


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