Harpal Singh Bedi
New Delhi: Hockey India on Friday named experienced striker Rani Rampaul to lead the 18-member Women’s Team for the tour of Korea scheduled to begin on 20th May at the Jinchun National Athletic Center, Jinchun, Korea.
The visitors will play a bilateral series of three Test Matches against Korea .
The matches will help the Indian team in preparing for the FIH Women’s Series Finals, which is scheduled to be held from June 15th – 23rd in Hiroshima, Japan.
Since the start of the year, the Indian team has also toured Spain in January-February where they played bilateral matches against the host nation and Ireland, which saw them finish with a record of two wins, three draws and a loss.
The team also embarked on their Malaysia Tour in April
which saw them remain unbeaten as they won four matches and drew one.
Experienced Goalkeepers Savita and Rajani Etimarpu will be guarding the goalpost in the three-match Republic Of Korea tour while defender Gurjit Kaur makes a return to the team after having missed the Malaysia Tour due to injury.
She will be accompanied by Salima Tete, Sunita Lakra, Deep Grace Ekka, Karishma Yadav and Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam in defence, while Monika, Navjot Kaur, Nikki Pradhan, Neha Goyal and Lilima Minz will command the midfield for India.
Captain Rani also makes a return after missing Malaysia Tour due to injury, and she will be joined by Vandana Katariya, Lalremsiami, Jyoti and Navneet Kaur in attack.
Speaking about the importance of the tour ahead of the FIH Women’s Series Finals Hiroshima , Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne said, “I am happy with the return of experienced players like Rani and Gurjit Kaur in the squad, and pleased that they are fully fit to play these matches.
This tour will give us the chance to take a good final step against a strong opponent in our preparation for the FIH Women’s Series Finals Hiroshima .
We have identified areas in our game that needed improvement from our past two tours this year, and have worked on them in training, and it is now time to show the improvement in the matches.”