Ritu Rani, the current captain of the national women’s hockey team, has left the ongoing camp in Bengaluru after being allegedly dropped from the team for the Olympics. The final squad of 16 is scheduled to be announced on July 12th, but the half-back left camp on her own volition on Thursday.
"It's correct - Ritu is not in the Olympic team. Her exclusion is solely on two counts - her (poor) performance and second is her attitude.
"It has been explained to her time and again that she needs to lift her performance but she couldn't do so. The camp is still going on in Bangalore. It will disperse today and tomorrow we are reaching Delhi. Ritu left the camp on Thursday,” PTI quoted an undisclosed senior member of the team management as saying, on Saturday.
Ritu was the captain when the team qualified for the Olympics for the first time in 36 years and has been a part of the team since 2006. Only 14 years old when she made her debut, Ritu has captained the team since 2011.
Hockey India President Narinder Batra has downplayed the issue, terming it “immature” behaviour from the player.
"It's really immature on part of Ritu (to leave the camp) because the team is not yet announced. It will be officially announced only on 12 July when I will publicly open the sealed envelope," Batra said
"Yes, the team management has given me their recommendations about captain and vice captains of both the teams and it will be finalised on 11 July during the HI executive board meeting," reported PTI.
In Ritu Rani’s absence, the vaunted captain’s arm-band might be handed to either Rani Rampal or Sushila Chanu, both key players in the team. Sushila Chanu had previously led the women's hockey team to a bronze medal in the 2013 Junior World Cup.
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