Bengaluru: Hockey India on Wednesday named the 20-member Indian Women’s Hockey Team for the forthcoming FIH Women’s Nations Cup being held for the first time in 2022.
The FIH Women’s Nations Cup is an important fixture in the international calendar as it brings in a system of promotion-relegation, where the champions will be promoted to the FIH Hockey Women’s Pro League’s 2023-2024 season.
India are grouped in pool B along with Canada, Japan and South Africa. The other teams in the fray are Ireland, Italy, Korea and Spain who are grouped in pool A.
Savita Punia has been named the Captain for the tournament along with Deep Grace Ekka as the Vice Captain.
Young forward Beauty Dungdung is all set to make her international debut at the FIH Nations Cup while experienced midfielder Navjot Kaur returned to the squad after she missed out the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 after testing positive for Covid 19.
The team includes Bichu Devi Kharibam in the squad along with Savita as goalkeepers while Deep Grace will be joined by Gurjit Kaur, Nikki Pradhan, Udita and Ishika Chaudhary as defenders.
The midfield will feature Nisha, Salima Tete, Sushila Chanu Kharibam, Monika, Neha, Sonika, Jyoti and Navjot Kaur while forwardline includes the experienced Vandana Katariya, Lalremsiami, Navneet Kaur, Sangita Kumari and Beauty Dungdung.
The Indian women’s team, who recently won the Bronze medal at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022, made their debut in the 2021-22 FIH Pro League.
India put up an impressive campaign in their maiden appearance finishing behind Argentina and the Netherlands. The team will be looking to win the FIH Women’s Nations Cup to make their second FIH Pro League appearance in 2023-2024.
Speaking about the team, Indian Women’s Hockey Chief Coach Janneke Schopman said: “I’m very happy with the performance of the entire playing group in this camp. Our level is getting higher and the group is very competitive. It was difficult to pick 20 players but I believe this group will have a good chance to perform well and show what we have been working on.”
Goalkeepers: Savita (Captain), Bichu Devi Kharibam
Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka (Vice Captain), Gurjit Kaur, Nikki Pradhan, Udita, Ishika Chaudhary
Midfielders: Nisha, Salima Tete, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Monika, Neha, Sonika, Jyoti, Navjot Kaur
Forwards: Vandana Katariya, Lalremsiami, Navneet Kaur, Sangita Kumari, Beauty Dungdung.