No Odisha players in Indian team for men’s Hockey World Cup?
Bhubaneswar: While Odisha players are considered to be the backbone of the Indian team, the likelihood that no player from the state will feature in the final squad for the men’s Hockey World Cup may come as a surprise to many. While Odisha is hosting the world cup and the state government is the official sponsor of the team; such a situation would be even more heartbreaking for the fans.
No players from Odisha have featured in the list of 25 players that have been identified as the core group and chosen for the month-long national camp for the upcoming Asian Champions Trophy in Muscat Oman.
The camp will be organised from September 16 while the Asian Champions Trophy is scheduled to be held from October 18 till 28 in Muscat, Oman. The current 25-member squad seems to be the final one from which 18 members will be selected for the world cup which will begin from November 18, just a month after the Asian Champions trophy.
Birendra Lakra and Amit Rohidas who feature regularly in the national team have been left out. While Birendra Lakra has been dropped due to his injury, the reason behind Rohidas’ exclusion is not known.
According to former captain of national hockey team, Dilip Tirkey “Our hockey players have been doing well, but it is very surprising that no Odisha hockey players have been included in the camp for Asian Champions Trophy.”
Prabhod Tirkey, another ex-captain of Indian hockey team said “This is very unfortunate that no Odisha players are on the list. Birendra Lakra’s injury is understood, but other players like Amit Rohitdas and Nishant Tirkey are fit for selection.”
Odisha is going to host the Hockey World Cup from November 28 to December 16. The state has also purchased the sponsorship rights for the national hockey team for the next five years.