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Hockey: Sardar Singh to captain youthful India at Asia Cup in Ipoh


August 13, 2013: Iconic midfielder Sardar Singh has been named captain of a youthful Indian team that will compete in the ninth Asia Cup, which will be held from August 24-September 1 in Ipoh, Malaysia.


Hockey India (HI) confirmed the 18-player squad that will compete in the competition on Sunday, with goalkeeper PR Sreejesh taking the vice-captaincy role.


The 2013 Asia Cup is a crucial event for all teams involved, with the winners earning automatic qualification to next year’s Rabobank Hockey World Cup.


According to various reports surfacing in India, four key forwards – Danish Mujtaba, S.V. Sunil, Gurwinder Singh Chandi and Akashdeep Singh – were ruled out of the competition due to injuries.


20130811_IndiaLOWThe new-look forward line comprises Nithin Thimmaiah, Mandeep Singh, Malak Singh, Ramandeep Singh and Nikin Thimmaiah.


Hockey India selectors B.P. Govinda, R.P. Singh and Arjun Halappa, director of high performance and interim chief coach Roelant Oltmans, coach M.K. Kaushik and scientific advisor Jason Konrath, along with government observer Harbinder Singh, selected the 18-member squad after trials at Bangalore’s Sports Authority of India (SAI) Centre from July 25-27.


India will compete in Pool B with defending champions Korea, Bangladesh and Oman, while Pool A comprises 2009 runners-up Pakistan, Malaysia, Japan and Chinese-Taipei.


India will open its campaign against Oman on August 24 before facing Korea on August 26 and Bangladesh on August 28.


India last won the Asia Cup in 2003 and 2007, but failed to make the semi-finals in 2009, when Korea beat Pakistan 1-0 in the final.


India squad – 2013 Asia Cup, Ipoh, Malaysia


Goalkeepers: 1. P.R.  Sreejesh (Vice-Captain), 2. P.T. Rao

Defenders: 3.  V.R. Raghunath, 4.  Rupinder Pal Singh, 5.  Amit Rohidas, 6.  Kothajit Singh, 7.  Birendra Lakra, 8.  Gurmail Singh

Midfielders: 9.   Sardar Singh (Captain), 10.  Manpreet Singh, 11.  Chinglensana Singh, 12.  Dharamvir Singh, 13.  S.K. Uthappa

Forwards: 14.  Ramandeep Singh, 15.  Nithin Thimmaiah, 16.  Mandeep Singh, 17.  Malak Singh, 18.  Nikin Thimmaiah

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