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Prabodh Tirkey is new hockey skipper

Prabodh Tirkey is new hockey skipper

The Indian hockey team for the Sultan Azlan Shah tournament was named on Saturday.

New Delhi: The Indian hockey team for the Sultan Azlan Shah tournament which will be held at Ipoh, Malaysia from May 5 to 15 was named on Saturday.

A press release issued by the Indian Hockey Federation in Chennai on Saturday said that Prabodh Tirkey will captain the 18-member squad to Malaysia.

Vikram Kamath would substitute Ignace Tirkey, should the latter be excluded on fitness grounds.

Other possible substitues include goalkeeper Sreejesh, defender Sunil Yadav and strikers Somanna and Bruno Logun.

The Indian probables were attending a two-day camp at the Sports Authority of India centre in Bangalore, after which the 18-member sqaud was announced by the IHF officials.

Dilip Tirkey and Gagan Ajit Singh, currently involved in the Netherlands Professional League, missed the training camp in Bangalore, IHF Secretary K Jyothikumaran was quoted as saying in the release. The duo were thus not considered for selection.

Meanwhile, newly-appointed Head Coach Joachim Carvalho told PTI on Saturday morning that Bruno Logun pulled his muscle and it may take time for the forward to recover fully.

Goalkeeper Adrian D'Souza, part of the Asian Games contingent that was eliminated early, was left out. Forward Hari Prasad also failed to make the cut. Bimal Lakra, who missed the Asiad in Doha, maked a return to the side.

"Our team's main concentration will be to finish on top in the Champions

Challenge tournament in June in Belgium as that ranking will help us to be in a better pool in the Olympic qualifier," Jyothikumaran told in the release.

"If we keep up our present ranking amongst the teams that figure in the Olympic qualifier, India's road to 2008 Beijing Olympics will be much easier," he added.

On the Azlan Shah Hockey tournament, the IHF Secretary said, "We always treat Azlan Shah tournament as a good hunting ground for practice and tournament play where we could also assess our players against few formidable teams."

President of the Karnataka Hockey Association R K Shetty has been named manager of the Indian team.

The team:

Goalkeepers: Bharath Chetri and Baljit Singh Defenders: William Xalxo, Raghunath V R and Harpal Singh Midfielders: Ignace Tirkey or

Vikramkanth, Gurbaz Singh, Bimal Lakra, Prabodh Tirkey (Captain) Sardara Singh and Didar Singh Forwards: Sarwanjit Singh, Shivender Singh, Prabhjoth

Singh, Rajpal Singh, Bharath Chikkara, Roshan Minz and Tushar Khandekar.

Standby: Sreejesh (goalkeeper), Sunil Yadav (defender), Somanna (forward), Bruno Logun (forward).

(With inputs from PTI)

first published:April 21, 2007, 19:33 IST