Two players from Odisha in Indian Women’s Hockey Team for Spain Tour

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New Delhi: Two players from Odisha have been included in the 18-member Indian Women’s Hockey Team for the season opener in Spain which starts on January 26.

The two odia players are defender Deep Grace Ekka and midfielder Lilima Minz.

The team, led by Captain Rani and vice-captained by Savita, will play four matches with Spain National Team and two matches against the 2018 Women’s World Cup runners-up Ireland.

The Indian team for Spain Tour will feature defender Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam who makes a comeback after missing out on the 2018 Women’s World Cup and the 18th Asian Games Jakarta-Palembang last year due to injury.

Defender Salima Tete, who led the India U-18 team to a Silver medal at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, has also been named in the team along with experienced Deep Grace Ekka, Reena Khokhar, Nikki Pradhan and drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur who will add strength to India’s defence.

While the midfield features Lilima Minz, Karishma Yadav, Sonika, and Neha Goyal, the forward-line will have the experience of Rani, Vandana Katariya, Navneet Kaur, Lalremsiami, Udita, and Navjot Kaur.

“The team has a different mix of players this time with some of the key players like Sunita Lakra, Namita Toppo among a few other experienced players being rested. The idea was to give more players a chance to experience playing at a top level so we can create more depth in our selection ahead of the Olympic Qualifiers,” said Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne, about the team selection.

The Indian team will leave on 24 January for the Spain Tour from Bengaluru where they have been based for the past two weeks for the National Camp.

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