Lalit Kumar Upadhyay is one of five forwards left out of India’s 18-man men’s hockey squad for the Asian Champions Trophy forthcoming in Chennai. Lalit wasn’t selected for the highly regarded competition, which will be held at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium from August 3 to 12. Abhishek, Pawan, Dilpreet Singh, and Simranjeet Singh, who are all presently in Spain with the Indian team preparing for the 100th Anniversary Spanish Hockey Federation-International Tournament, were also left off the list.
Harmanpreet Singh, the team’s star drag-flicker, will remain in charge, with midfielder Hardik Singh serving as his assistant. Manpreet Singh, who was originally categorized as a defender throughout the Pro League’s European stage, will move back into the middle of the field. India will compete against Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, Japan, and China in the tournament’s Pool phase.
The competition will also act as a warm-up for the Asian Games in Hangzhou, which are also the hockey qualifier event for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. The squad has veteran goalkeepers in PR Sreejesh and Krishan Bahadur Pathak as well as other pillars like defender Amit Rohidas, midfielder Vivek Sagar Prasad, and previous captain Manpreet.
Chief coach Craig Fulton said,
“We have carefully chosen a squad that has the potential to go on and give a good account of themselves in the Asian Champions Trophy.”
He also adeed,
“The squad has a blend of youth and experience. It’s an exciting phase for the squad as we start the 100th Anniversary Spanish Hockey Federation-International Tournament in Spain tomorrow (Wednesday) and post this tournament (we) fly directly to Chennai to play at home in the Asian Champions Trophy.”
Goalkeepers: PR Sreejesh, Krishan Bahadur Pathak Defenders: Jarmanpreet Singh, Sumit, Jugraj Singh, Harmanpreet Singh (capt), Varun Kumar, Amit Rohidas Midfielders: Hardik Singh (vice-captain), Vivek Sagar Prasad, Manpreet Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Shamsher Singh.
Forwards: Akashdeep Singh, Mandeep Singh, Gurjant Singh, Sukhjeet Singh, S Karthi.
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