Four Odia players – Dipsan Tirkey, Amit Rohidas, Nilam Sanjeep Xess and Shilanand Lakra – have been selected in the Indian hockey squad for the upcoming 27th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup which will begin in Malaysia on March 3.
The tournament begins on March 3 in Ipoh, Malaysia and sees Australia, Argentina, England, Ireland, India and hosts Malaysia vying for the title. The final will be played on March 10.
However, omission of ace player Birendra Lakra from the team has surprised many. Lakra was selected as the only player from Odisha to take part in the 2018 Four Nations Invitational Tournament in New Zealand earlier last month.
Sardar Singh has been included in the 18-man squad announced for the annual Sultan Azlan Shah Cup and to top it all, he has been named as the captain in the absence of regular skipper Manpreet Singh.
Goalkeepers: Suraj Karkera, Krishan B Pathak
Defenders: Amit Rohidas, Dipsan Tirkey, Varun Kumar, Surender Kumar, Nilam Sanjeep Xess, Mandeep Mor
Midfielders: S.K. Uthappa, Sardar Singh (Captain), Sumit, Nilakanta Sharma, Simranjeet Singh.
Forwards: Gurjant Singh, Ramandeep Singh (Vice-captain), Talwinder Singh, Sumit Kumar (Junior), Shilanand Lakra