New Delhi, Jan 3 (IANS) The India women’s hockey team on Sunday left for Argentina where they are scheduled to play eight matches between January 17 to 31.
The Indian team is scheduled to play two matches against Argentina (Junior Women) on January 17 and 19, two matches against Argentina B on January 22 and 24 and four matches against Argentina on January 26, 28, 30 and 31.
This tour will be the national side’s first tour after almost a year. India’s last international assignment was a tour of New Zealand in January 2020. India faced New Zealand and Great Britain in the five-match series and were victorious in three games that they played during the tour.
“It feels amazing to be touring again. We have worked very hard on our game in the last few months and the time has come for us to execute our skills in an international match. Playing in international matches is going to be a bit different this time, since we will be in a bio bubble, however, the team is excited to be back on the field in the best possible manner at the moment,” said Rani who will be leading the side.
Hockey India on Sunday named the 25-member squad for the tour. The team, which has goalkeeper Savita serving as the vice captain, consists of goalkeepers Rajani Etimarpu and Bichu Devi Kharibam, Defenders Gurjit Kaur, Deep Grace Ekka, Rashmita Minz, Manpreet Kaur, Reena Khokhar, Salima Tete and Nisha, Midfielders Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Lilima Minz, Neha Goyal, Namita Toppo, Monika and Nikki Pradhan and Forwards Vandana Katariya, Navneet Kaur, Navjot Kaur, Jyoti, Udita, Rajwinder Kaur, Lalremsiami and Sharmila Devi.
“We desperately needed to get back into competitive mode as there’s not much time left to go for the Olympics. We have been doing well in practice sessions, but an international match is always the real test for any sportsperson. Therefore, we would like to thank Hockey India and SAI for the efforts they have put in to arrange a tour for us. We are really looking forward to a great tour and hopefully, we start playing to our full potential right from the first match,” said Savita.
Hockey India and the host national association have created a bio bubble in Argentina for both the Argentine women’s team and the Indian women’s team, informed Hockey India.
The Indian team will be staying in a hotel where a provision to have separate rooms/halls for the team for all the meals, team meetings, sessions etc have been made.
The entire Indian contingent underwent a Covid-19 RT-PCR Test 72 hours prior to their departure from the national capital.
“Though there is no requirement of quarantine upon arrival in Argentina, the team will still be following all safety and health measures as advised by the respective governments of India and Argentina,” the HI release further stated.