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Hockey: Rupinder, Birendra Lakra named among India 'A' men's core probables

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Bengaluru, March 5 (IANS) Olympic bronze medallists Rupinderpal Singh and Birendra Lakra, and veteran forward SV Sunil were on Saturday selected by Hockey India among the 33 players for India ‘A’ men’s core probables, picked up to train a developmental group for the senior national team.

Both Rupinderpal and Birendra had announced their retirement soon after the Tokyo Olympic Games but have now made themselves available for selection again for the national team. Sunil has been out of favour and was not selected for the Tokyo Olympics.

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All three along with experienced forward Ramandeep Singh are now eligible for selection following their inclusion in the core probables for the India A men’s team.

On Saturday, Hockey India announced a list of 33 players each for the India ‘A’ men’s and women’s core probables groups.

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Former Indian men’s hockey team captain Sardar Singh has been named as a coach of India ‘A’ men’s side, while former Indian men’s hockey team forward and two-time Olympian Deepak Thakur has been named as a coach of India ‘A’ Women’s team. The two groups will be in their respective camps at the SAI Centre in Bengaluru from March 7, 2022.

Hockey India has taken this step to build a developmental group after a meeting chaired by Sports Secretary Sujata Chaturvedi held on February 15, 2022, wherein the Indian contingent’s preparation in eight high priority disciplines for the upcoming 2022 Commonwealth Games and 2022 Asian Games was discussed by the National Sports Federation of India, Sports Authority of India and relevant sports federations.

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Following the announcement, Hockey India President Gyanendro Ningombam said, “The selection of this group of 33 players each for India ‘A’ women’s and men’s core group is a positive development aimed at widening the talent pool for selection of the respective men’s and women’s national teams.

“We are really happy to have stalwarts like Deepak Thakur and Sardar Singh join the national coaching programme. The wealth of experience, technical know-how and world-class ability that they both will bring to the table will be extremely beneficial for this group of players, which will, in turn, strengthen Indian hockey manifold.”

–IANS

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