Hockey India on Thursday announced 22 members Indian women’s ice hockey team line-up for the upcoming South African tour starting on January 16.
During the tour, which will run from January 16 to 28, world No. 8 India will play four matches against South Africa, ranked 22nd, and three matches against World No. 1 Netherlands.
Veteran striker and former captain of the Indian women’s ice hockey team Rani Rampal will return to the squad for the first time since the FIH Women’s Hockey Pro League 2021-22 match against Belgium last June.
Rani Rampal, 28, who captained the Indian national team at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, has since been sidelined due to injury.
However, despite the return of Rani Rampal, goalkeeper Savita Punia will continue as captain, with experienced Navneet Kaur as vice-captain.
Savita Punia led India to glory in the inaugural edition of the FIH Women’s Nations Cup in Valencia, Spain in December. The win earned India promotion to the 2023–24 FIH Pro League.
Vaishnavi Vitthal Phalke, who led the Indian junior team at the Uniphar U-23 5 Nations Tournament 2022 in May, received her maiden call-up to the senior team for the South African tour.
Baljeet Kaur will also return to the India national team for the first time since his senior debut in the 2021-22 FIH Women’s Hockey Pro League match against Belgium.
India women’s ice hockey team line-up for 2023 South Africa tour
Goalkeepers: Savita Punia (Captain), Bichu Devi Kharibam
Defenders: Nikki Pradhan, Udita, Ishika Chaudhary, Gurjit Kaur
Helpers: Vaishnavi Vitthal Phalke, P. Sushila Chanu, Nisha, Salima Tete, Monika, Neha, Sonika, Baljeet Kaur
Forward: Lalremsiami, Navneet Kaur (Vice-Captain), Vandana Katariya, Sangita Kumari, Beauty Dungdung, Rani Rampal, Reena Khokhar, Sharmila Devi
Indian women’s ice hockey team South Africa tour schedule for 2023
All times in Indian Standard Time (IST)
January 16, Monday: South Africa vs India – 6:30pm IST
January 17, Tuesday: South Africa vs India – 6:30pm IST
January 19, Thursday: South Africa vs India – 6:30pm IST
January 21, Saturday: South Africa vs India – 6:30pm IST
January 22, Sunday: Netherlands vs India – 6:30pm IST
January 27, Friday: Netherlands vs India – 6:30pm IST
January 28, Saturday: Netherlands vs India – 6:30pm IST