Bengaluru: The Indian Men’s Hockey Team on Sunday flew to Salalah, Oman for the Men’s Asian Hockey 5s World Cup Qualifier, set to take place from August 29 to September 2.
India Team has been placed in the Elite Pool along with Malaysia, Pakistan, Japan, Oman, and Bangladesh. The Indian Team will open their campaign on Tuesday against Bangladesh.
Meanwhile, the Challengers Pool consists of Hong Kong China, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, and Iran.
After their opening contest against Bangladesh, India will take on Oman and Pakistan on Wednesday and then follow it up with matches against Malaysia and Japan on Thursday. To earn one of the 16 available berths at the 2024 FIH Hockey 5s World Cup, India would have to earn at least a top-three finish in the upcoming tournament. Oman have already booked one of the berths from Asia, being the host nation.
Mandeep Mor will Captain the Indian team, with Mohammed Raheel Mouseen serving as Vice-Captain. Suraj Karkera has been named as the goalkeeper, and the defenders are Jugraj Singh, Dipsan Tirkey, and Mandeep Mor. Sukhvinder has been added to India’s defence line as a late replacement for Manjeet, who suffered an injury during a training session at the SAI Centre Bengaluru. Maninder Singh and Mohd Raheel Mouseen have been named midfielder, while Pawan Rajbhar and Gurjot Singh will lead the attack.
Captain Mandeep Mor spoke ahead of the team’s departure and stated that the players are excited for the tournament to begin. “We have a solid squad and we have prepared well for the upcoming competition. All the teams are strong in this format, so it will be a tough tournament. But with a chance to qualify for the 2024 FIH Hockey 5s World Cup at stake, our team is hungry and determined to get positive results.”
Team Vice-Captain Mohammed Raheel Mouseen also spoke on India’s prospects and said, “We will not take any team lightly and we have studied all opponents thoroughly. We have planned our strategies accordingly. We are confident of a good showing in the tournament and our aim is to earn a direct qualification for the 2024 FIH Hockey 5s World Cup.”
Indian Men’s Hockey Team Squad:
Goalkeeper: Suraj Karkera
Defenders: Jugraj Singh, Dipsan Tirkey, Sukhvinder, Mandeep Mor (Captain)
Midfielders: Maninder Singh, Mohammed Raheel Mouseen (Vice-Captain)
Forwards: Pawan Rajbhar, Gurjot Singh