~ The injured midfielder will be replaced by alternate player Raj Kumar Pal ~
Bhubaneswar, 21 January 2023: Ahead of India's crucial crossover match against New Zealand on Sunday, Hockey India announced the replacement of charismatic midfielder Hardik Singh who sustained a hamstring injury during India's match against England on 15th January. Having rested the youngster for the match against Wales, and subsequent assessment, Hardik has now been ruled out of the FIH Odisha Hockey Men's World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar-Rourkela.
Hardik will be replaced by alternate player Raj Kumar Pal.
Talking about the decision made by the team management, Chief Coach Graham Reid said: "Overnight we had to make the difficult decision of replacing Hardik Singh in the Indian Team for Sunday’s match vs New Zealand and the subsequent World Cup matches."
"While the injury was not as severe as the initial incident suggested, time was not on our side and after our ongoing thorough rehabilitation process and functional and on-field assessment today, it has been decided that we will replace Hardik with Raj Kumar Pal. While it is extremely disappointing for Hardik personally of course, given how well he played in our first two matches, we are excited at the prospects of Raj Kumar joining the group for the remaining World Cup matches," Reid added.
Having finished second in Pool D, India will need to win against New Zealand in the crossover match on Sunday to make the Quarterfinal of the FIH Odisha Hockey Men's World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar-Rourkela.
At 1900 hours IST on 22nd January 2023, India will take on New Zealand in the crossover match at the FIH Odisha Hockey Men's World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar-Rourkela.
Matches will be live on Star Sports Select, Star Sports First, Star Sports2.