Hockey India announced 18 members on Friday indian team for 2023 FIH Odisha Men’s Ice Hockey World Championshipwhich will be held in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela from 23-29 January.
Dragging flickering Harmanpreet Singh will be the captain Indian men’s ice hockey team in a four-year rendezvous, while Amit Rohidas was named vice-captain of the team. The final squad was selected after 33 players underwent a two-day trial at the SAI Center in Bengaluru.
Krishan B Pathak and Veteran P. R. Sreejeshwho will play his fourth FIH World Cup – his third on home soil – was selected as the two goalkeepers in the 18-man contingent.
Promising youngster Vivek Sagar Prasad returns to the squad after the midfielder missed the recent tour of Australia in India and the FIH Hockey Pro League due to an ankle injury.
Manpreet Singh, who led India to a bronze medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, will also be in the squad and tasked with organizing relief.
The forward lineup is a good mix of experience and youth, with Mandeep Singh and Lalit Kumar Upadhyay joining young Abhishek and Sukhjeet Singh who impressed after making their national team debut earlier this year.
Rajkumar Pal and Jugraj Singh were named as two deputies.
“The World Cup is the most important ‘hockey only’ tournament that exists. The World Cup at home puts extra weight and pressure on this event like no other. Each country selects the best team it considers available at any given time and strives to provide its team with the best preparation possible,” said India’s head men’s hockey coach, Coach Graham Reid.
“We’ve also had some great preparation over the past two months, including a home series in the Pro League and a very tough tour to Australia against the world’s No.1. We can’t wait to get to Odisha and complete our preparations for an exciting and challenging tournament ahead,” added Reid.
India were drawn in Group D and will start their 2023 World Cup campaign against Spain in Rourkela on January 13. England and Wales are the other two teams in their pool.
The 2023 edition will be the fourth FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup to be held in India.
India’s only world title to date was won in 1975 when they defeated Pakistan 2-1 in the final in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Full Indian hockey squad for FIH World Cup 2023
Goalkeepers: Krishan Bahadur Pathak, P. R. Sreejesh
Defenders: Jarmanpreet Singh, Surender Kumar, Harmanpreet Singh (Captain), Varun Kumar, Amit Rohidas (Lieutenant), Nilam Sanjeep Xess
Helpers: Manpreet Singh, Hardik Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Shamsher Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Akashdeep Singh
Forward: Mandeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Abhishek, Sukhjeet Singh
Alternative players: Rajkumar Pal, Jugraj Singh
Head coach: Graham Reid