4 From Odisha In Indian Squad For Asia Cup; Birendra Lakra Vice-Captain; No Place For Rohidas

Bhubaneswar: Four players from Odisha have been selected in the 20-member Indian hockey squad that will vie for glory in the Men’s Asia Cup to be held at Indonesia May 23 to June 1. They are Birendra Lakra, Dipsan Tirkey, Nilam Sanjeep Xess and Abhishek Lakra.

Experienced defender Birendra Lakra has been named vice-captain of the team, while Rupinder Pal Singh will be the captain. Birendra was vice-captain in last year’s Tokyo Olympics too, when India won a bronze medal.

As many as 10 players will be making their senior India debut, including Junior World Cupper Abhishek Lakra. But there is no place for defender Amit Rohidas, who led India in the recent FIH Pro League matches at Bhubaneswar’s Kalinga Stadium.

Defending champions India have been placed with arch-rivals Pakistan, Japan and hosts Indonesia in pool A while Malaysia, Korea, Oman and Bangladesh are in pool B.

The Asia Cup is a World Cup qualifying event.

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