Hockey India on Monday announced the 18-member Indian Junior Women’s Hockey Team for the FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup South Africa 2021. The event is scheduled to start on 5th December and will see the top 16 teams fight it out among each other for the Junior World title.
Argentina are the winners of the last edition that happened in 2016 whereas India’s major success at the event was back in 2013 when they won the bronze medal by defeating England. The Junior Women’s India team will be led by Lalremsiami who was part of the senior Women’s team and their heroics at the Tokyo Olympics.
The team also includes Bichu Devi Kharibam, Khushboo, Akshata Abaso Dhekale, Priyanka, Marina Lalramnghaki, Ajmina Kujur, Baljeet Kaur, Reet, Vaishnavi Vitthal Phalke, Beauty Dungdung, Deepika, Mumtaz Khan, Sangita Kumari, Jiwan Kishori Toppo. Preeti and Prabhleen Kaur have been chosen as alternate players who will only be a part of the team in case of any injury or if any other player goes out due to COVID-19.
Speaking about the team selection Chief Coach Women, Janneke Schopman said, “To pick the final selection of 18 players was extremely difficult especially as all 28 players in the Core Probable Group worked very hard in the past months and made good progress. But we feel that we have selected a strong team that is able to compete with every team at the Junior World Cup.”
“With the experience from the Senior team and some great young talent we will show the best India has to give. The team is very excited as they have waited a long time to compete at the world stage and we’re looking forward to making the most of this great opportunity,” she added.
India are clubbed alongside teams like Russia, Argentina and Japan. They will start their campaign against Russia on 6th December followed by the match against defending champions Argentina a day later. Lastly, they will play Japan on 9th December in the round-robin format.
The teams in the fray include the Netherlands, Korea, Ireland, Zimbabwe in Pool A, England, Belgium, Canada and Uruguay in Pool B. Argentina, India, Japan and Russia in Pool C while Germany, Spain, United States and South Africa are in Pool D.