After a year since they last played an international match, the Indian Men’s Hockey Team will travel to Europe where they will play two matches each against the Germany and Great Britain national teams during this 17-day tour. (More Sports News)
The 22-member squad is scheduled to leave on February 21 from Bengaluru for Krefeld, Germany, where they will play the home team on February 28 and March 2. They will then travel to Antwerp, Belgium, where they are scheduled to play against Great Britain team on March 6 and March 8.
The Indian Men's Team last participated in an International competition in February 2020 when they took on Australia during the FIH Hockey Pro League matches held in Bhubaneswar. As a result of the Indian team's good performance, the team had climbed to 4th in the FIH world rankings.
Over the past months, Hockey India has been in constant touch with a number of countries to make the best of the current situation and to ensure international competitions are made available for the Indian teams as part of their preparations for the Tokyo Olympic Games which were postponed from July 2020 to July 2021 and other major international tournaments in the year 2021.
The teams trained in a bio-secure environment in SAI, Bengaluru, with pandemic disrupting travel and competition abroad. The Indian Men's Hockey Team has been training at the SAI Campus in Bengaluru since they joined back the camp in January 2021 after a short break.
Recently, the Indian Women's Team travelled to Argentina in January 2021 while the Indian Junior Women's Team toured Chile as part of their exposure tours ahead of key events such as the Olympic Games and Junior World Cup later this year.
The Indian Men's Chief Coach Graham Reid said, "We are very grateful for the opportunity to go to Europe, and we are looking forward to having our first competitive matches in just over 12 months. Playing against powerhouse teams like Germany and Great Britain will provide us with great competition and help immensely in our FIH Hockey Pro League and Olympic Games preparation. Playing any top 10 ranked team is always a great experience for the team."
Men's team vice-captain Harmanpreet Singh said, “We understand the weather in Europe will be quite cold this time of the year, but we have almost a week to acclimatize. We are looking forward to this exciting challenge, we can't wait to get into competition mode.”
The entire Indian contingent will undergo a Covid-19 RT-PCR Test 48 hours prior to their departure from SAI Centre, Bengaluru. Though there is no requirement of quarantine upon arrival in Germany, the team will still be following all safety and health measures as advised by the respective Governments of India, Germany and Belgium.
Indian Men's team:
Goalkeepers: P R Sreejesh (C), Krishan Bahadur Pathak, Defenders: Amit Rohidas, Dipsan Tirkey, Gurinder Singh, Harmanpreet Singh (VC), Surender Kumar, Jarmanpreet Singh, Birendra Lakra, Midfielders: Chinglensana Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Hardik Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Rajkumar Pal, Simranjeet Singh, Shamsher Singh, Akashdeep Singh; Forwards: Gurjant Singh, Ramandeep Singh, Dilpreet Singh, Mandeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay.
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