The Indian men's and women's hockey squads for the upcoming Rio Olympics have been revealed by Hockey India, and the biggest change is that of Sardar Singh relinquishing his captaincy. He has been replaced by PR Sreejesh as the new skipper, while SV Sunil has been appointed as the new vice-captain.
Hockey India took to Twitter to announce both the squads for the 2016 Olympic Games, and PR Sreejesh, who captained the national team in the silver medal-winning Champions Trophy campaign in the absence of Sardar Singh, has been permanently assigned the role. Sardar Singh has been involved in a controversy off the pitch for a while now after allegations of sexual harassment were brought up against him by a former England women's U-19 hockey player, and this move might help to reduce the pressure the midfielder is under at the moment.
Disappointingly, Birendra Lakra missed out on a place in the squad due to his injury, while Pardeep Mor and Vikas Dahiya have been put on standby by the federation.
There has been a change at the helm of the women's hockey squad as well, with Sushila Chanu replacing Ritu Rani as the captain of the side. The latter, reportedly, left the preparatory camp after lack of improvement in her performance or attitude. Deepika will be the vice-captain of the team, while all hopes will be pinned on Poonam Rani to provide the goals at the top.
Women’s squad: Savita (GK), Navjot Kaur (midfielder), Deep Grace Ekka (defender), Monika (midfielder), Anuradha Devi (forward), Poonam Rani (forward), Vandana Kataria (forward), Deepika (vice-captain and defender), Namita Toppo (defender), Renuka Yadav (midfielder), Sunita Lakra (defender), Sushila Chanu (captain and defender), Rani Rampal (forward), Preeti Dubey (forward), Lilima Minz (midfielder), Nikki Pradhan (forward).
On standby: Rajani Etimarpu & H. Lalruat Feli
Men’s squad: PR Sreejesh (captain and GK), Harmanpreet Singh (defender), Rupinder Pal Singh (defender), Kothajit Singh (defender), Surendar Kumar (defender), Manpreet Singh (midfielder), Sardar Singh (midfielder), VR Raghunath (defender), SK Uthappa (midfielder), Danish Mujtaba (midfielder), Devender Walmiki (midfielder), SV Sunil (forward and vice-captain), Akashdeep Singh (forward), Chinglensana Singh (midfielder), Ramandeep Singh (forward), Nikkin Thimmaiah (forward).
On standby: Pardeep Mor, Vikas Dahiya