Sardar Singh has been dropped as captain of the Indian hockey team, and will not represent the country at the upcoming Rio Olympics. Goalkeeper PR Sreejesh will take the helm instead. SV Sunil has been named as the vice captain. Defender Birender Lakra will have to skip the Games owing to an injury.
Sushila Chanu will lead the women’s squad. Longtime skipper Ritu Rani has been dropped from the team; this is the first major tournament she will be missing in her career.
The names of both the women and men squads representing India at the Rio Olympics were announced on Tuesday by Hockey India president Narinder Batra. The Games commence on August 5.
The Indian men won silver at the Champions Trophy for the first time in London under Sreejesh’s captaincy. Sardar was rested for the entire tournament. Sardar has been in the news lately, after his girlfriend alleged she was sexually assaulted by him.
Women’s squad: Savita (GK), Navjot Kaur (midfielder), Deep Grace Ekka (defender), Monika (midfielder), Anuradha Devi (forward), Poonam Rani (forward), Vandana Kataria (forward), Deepika (vice-captain and defender), Namita Toppo (defender), Renuka Yadav (midfielder), Sunita Lakra (defender), Sushila Chanu (captain and defender), Rani Rampal (forward), Preeti Dubey (forward), Lilima Minz (midfielder), Nikki Pradhan (forward).
Standby: Rajani Etimarpu & H. Lalruat Feli
Men’s squad: PR Sreejesh (captain and GK), Harmanpreet Singh (defender), Rupinder Pal Singh (defender), Kothajit Singh (defender), Surendar Kumar (defender), Manpreet Singh (midfielder), Sardar Singh (midfielder), VR Raghunath (defender), SK Uthappa (midfielder), Danish Mujtaba (midfielder), Devender Walmiki (midfielder), SV Sunil (forward and vice-captain), Akashdeep Singh (forward), Chinglensana Singh (midfielder), Ramandeep Singh (forward), Nikkin Thimmaiah (forward).
Standby: Pardeep Mor, Vikas Dahiya