~ Ace goalkeeper Savita named as the Captain with Deep Grace Ekka as her deputy ~
New Delhi, 21 June 2022: Hockey India on Tuesday named the 18-member Indian Women's Hockey Team for the most-awaited FIH Women's Hockey World Cup to be held in Netherlands and Spain starting from 1st July to 17th July 2022. India grouped in Pool B along with England, New Zealand and China will begin their campaign on 3rd July against nemesis England, to whom they lost the Bronze Medal in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
The Indian team will be Captained by ace goalkeeper Savita and Vice Captained by Deep Grace Ekka.
The 20-member squad includes goalkeepers Savita and Bichu Devi Kharibam. Defenders Deep Grace Ekka, Gurjit Kaur, Nikki Pradhan, Udita have been named in the squad along with midfielders Nisha, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Monika, Neha, Jyoti, Navjot Kaur, Sonika and Salima Tete.
The forwardline features the very experienced Vandana Katariya, Lalremsiami, Navneet Kaur and Sharmila Devi while talented young stars Akshata Abaso Dhekale and Sangita Kumari have been named as replacement players.
In the previous edition of the prestigious quadrennial event held in London, the Indian Team entered the quarterfinals but lost to Ireland in a shootout after 0-0 stalemate in regulation time. Ireland, who ousted India 3-1 in the shootout, went on to play the Final of the World Cup and ended their campaign with a Silver Medal.
Speaking about the team selection, Chief Coach Janneke Schopman said, "We have chosen the best squad for the World Cup. It is a mix of experience and young talent who have shown great promise when they were given a chance against top teams in the FIH Pro League."
Indian Women's Team for FIH Women's World Cup:
1. Savita (C)
2. Bichu Devi Kharibam
3.Deep Grace Ekka (VC)
8. Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam
12. Navjot Kaur
14. Salima Tete
15. Vandana Katariya
17. Navneet Kaur
18. Sharmila Devi
19. Akshata Abaso Dhekale
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"We are ready for the challenge," says Captain Savita ahead of India's opening match against England
The Indian Women's Hockey Team and England have shared an exciting rivalry with encounters between the two teams going down to the wire on most occasions. Though at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, it was Great Britain that India lost a Bronze medal to by a narrow 4-3 margin, many players from that GB squad will take on India as they represent England on Sunday, in their first pool B match at the FIH Women's Hockey World Cup Spain and Netherlands 2022.
"Every match is crucial," says Indian Women's Hockey ace forward Vandana Katariya
Emphasizing the importance of doing well in each of the group stage matches at the FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup Spain and Netherlands 2022, experienced striker Vandana Katariya said, "Each match in the group stage will be crucial and we cannot take any team to be easy. The most important aspect for us is to be consistent in every single quarter and be the best we can without worrying too much about the opponent. This is something we have learnt over the years and it has really worked for us."