Tokyo Olympics 2020 hockey captain Rani Rampal out of the core group

A 33-member core probable group has been selected for the national coaching camp by Hockey India, the nation's governing body for the sport.

Rani Rampal in a file photo (Image Credits -
By Pushkar Pandey | Apr 9, 2023 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Rani Rampal, who helped the Indian women’s hockey team achieve a best-ever fourth-place finish at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, has been taken out of the core probable group in advance of a forthcoming national camp. A 33-member core probable group has been selected for the national coaching camp by Hockey India, the nation’s governing body for the sport. The camp will take place at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) complex in Bengaluru from April 9 to May 13.

For the upcoming tour of Australia, the national hockey team will hold a camp in Bengaluru under the direction of head coach Janneka Schopman. A tour is a practice activity for the Asian Games in Hangzhou this September. Since India’s participation in the Summer Games in Japan, Rani Rampal has been hampered by injuries. As a result, she was unable to attend the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in 2022, where India’s women won a bronze medal, and the FIH Women’s Hockey World Cup in Spain in 2022. Prior to her unexpected exclusion from the core probable list, the forward had returned to the Indian team during the team’s tour of South Africa earlier this year.

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Savita Punia to continue as captain

Goalkeeper Savita Punia assumed leadership duties for India while Rani Rampal was absent. She led India to a third-place finish in the FIH Pro League 2021–22 and the first-ever FIH Nations Cup victory last year, which qualified the Indian women’s team for the FIH Pro League 2023–24.

Despite Rani Rampal’s return to the squad, Savita Punia remained the captain of the Indian women’s hockey team. Indian hockey superstar Rani Rampal is regarded as one of the best women’s hockey players in the world. She is a clinical forward with a knack for scoring important goals and the versatility to play both forward and midfield.

At the 2008 Olympic qualifiers, Rani Rampal, then 14 years old, made her debut for India as a hockey player, making history as the nation’s youngest player. Given the promise she made, the 15-year-old made her World Cup debut in 2010 as the youngest player for India and scored five of the team’s seven goals. And to think that only a few years earlier, she was living in the misery of Shahbad, a village tucked away in the state of Haryana, where her father worked as a cart-puller.

Indian women’s hockey team’s core group

Goalkeepers: Bansari Solanki, Savita Punia, Rajani Etimarpu, Bichu Devi Kharibam.

Defenders: Jyoti Chhatri, Deep Grace Ekka, Gurjit Kaur, Nikki Pradhan, Udita, Ishika Chaudhary, Akshata Abaso Dhekale, and Mahima Chaudhary.

Midfielders: Nisha, Salima Tete, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Jyoti, Navjot Kaur, Monika, Mariana Kujur, Sonika, Neha, Baljeet Kaur, Reena Khokhar, Vaishnavi Phalke, Ajmina Kujur 

Forwards: Lalremsiami, Navneet Kaur, Vandana Katariya, Sharmila Devi, Deepika, Sangita Kumari, Mumtaz Khan, Sunelita Toppo

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