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Indian training camp from October 27
21 Oct 2004 10:24

CHENNAI, OCT. 20. All the 18 players who figured in the recent India-Pakistan hockey series are being told to report for the training camp at Chandigarh on October 27 in preparation for the Champions Trophy to be held at Lahore from December 4 to 12. The camp is likely to include the under-21 team after it returns from Perth where it plays a four-Test series against Australia from October 24.

There is as yet no confirmation about the recall of the senior players like Gagan Ajit Singh, Deepak Thakur and Prabhjot Singh. While Deepak is yet to recover completely from the injury sustained at Athens during the Olympics, Prabhjot has been sidelined after he made a few critical comments about the German coach, Gerhard Rach, on a national TV channel.

Gagan was allowed to practice with the junior team raising hopes that he might be included for the home leg of the India-Pakistan series but the selectors were in no mood to recast the frontline.

The present indications are that Gagan is unlikely to be called for the camp since Rach is reported to be satisfied with the performance of the current players. It is gathered that the coach is happy that the team is settling down well and feels no need for alterations. However, it is not clear whether the IHF will opt for the same squad for the Champions Trophy where the competition is expected to be far more intense than it was against a lacklustre Test series with Pakistan. There is also talk of Jugraj Singh staging a comeback.

He is expected to figure in the Surjit memorial tournament. But the IHF sources aren't optimistic about the injured player's competitiveness to take the rigours in the Champions Trophy.

Rach is expected to take charge of the camp in the first week of November. — Our Hockey Correspondent


Article courtesy The Hindu

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