Defender Dipsan Tirkey will lead an 18-member India under-23 men’s hockey team for a six-nation tournament in Belgium from July 14 to 21. Apart from India and hosts Belgium, the other participating nations are Great Britain, Ireland, Malaysia and the Netherlands.
Defender Nilam Sanjeep Xess and forward Shilanand Lakra from the State have also been included in the 18-member Indian squad that was selected by Hockey India. Apart from Tirkey, Hardik Singh has been named vice-captain.
The Indian team will play their opening match against Ireland on July 14. The top two teams at the end of the round-robin matches will face each other in the Final on July 21 whereas the remaining teams will play classification matches.
Dipsan Tirkey and Shilanand Lakra have previously represented the Indian senior team as well. Dipsan played for the senior team for the first time last year in Asia Cup held in Bangladesh where India became champions while Shilanand played in the prestigious Sultan Azlan Shah Cup Hockey Competition earlier this year.
“The U-23 Six Nations Tournament in Belgium will prove to be a good test for our younger players of the Core Group. We will be playing against some of the best youth teams from around the world, which will help in giving our players the exposure they require,” said David John, Director, High Performance.