Hockey India after the disastrous outing of both the men’s and women’s team at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast has swung in action to make necessary changes, and it starts with the captains.
Hockey India names captains for major events
Hockey India announced that P.R. Sreejesh and Rani as captains of senior men’s and women’s national teams, respectively, until the end of 2018.
Sreejesh returns to the leadership role after coming back from a knee injury that he sustained at the 2017 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.
Meawhile, Rani continues in her position for all the tournaments in 2018 including Women’s Hockey World Cup London 2018 starting in July and 18th Asian Games in Jakarta.
Sreejesh was given the captaincy in 2016 for the FIH Champions Trophy where India, under his leadership, won a historic silver medal. He was entrusted the leadership mantle for the Rio Olympics.
During the 2017 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, the experienced goalkeeper tore his anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.
However, the injury didn’t dampen his spirits as he shouldered the responsibility of mentoring junior men’s team as goalkeepers Vikas Dahiya and Krishan Pathak put up excellent performances at the Uttar Pradesh Hockey Junior World Cup Lucknow 2016 where Indian team won the title.
Sreejesh returned to action at the four-nation invitational hockey tournament in New Zealand in January 2018, putting up a strong performance where India finished second.
Hockey India shows trust in Rani
Rani, meanwhile, stepped up into the role of captain guiding India to an Asia Cup win. Under her leadership, the team climbed from 12th to the 10th position. Always leading from the front, Rani also led the team to make a semi-final appearance, first in 12 years, at the 21st Commonwealth Games 2018.
“Besides being exceptional players, both Sreejesh and Rani command great respect. The two have led the country with great enthusiasm and we believe using their experience, they will continue to do that in this all-important calendar year where both the team’s have important tournaments like World Cup and Asian Games to play in. The idea behind announcing one captain for all events until the end of the year was to bring stability to the core of both the teams,” said Mohd. Mushtaque Ahmed, Secretary General, Hockey India.