Bhubaneswar: Two hockey players from Odisha, defender Amit Rohidas and forward Shilanand Lakra have been selected in the 20-member Indian Men’s Hockey Team for the upcoming FIH Pro League matches in South Africa.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the silent custodian of Indian Hockey, has congratulated the two Odisha players, Amit Rohidas and Shilanand Lakra on being selected in Men’s Team and wished the entire team all the very best for the upcoming FIH Pro League in South Africa.
Congratulate #Odisha players, Amit Rohidas and Shilanand Lakra on being selected in the 20-member Indian Men’s Hockey Team for the upcoming @FIH_Hockey Pro League matches to be played in South Africa. Wish the team all the very best. #OdishaForSports https://t.co/2NINqjAoiu
— Naveen Patnaik (@Naveen_Odisha) January 27, 2022
The Odisha chief minister patronised hockey at a time the game needed it the most. Patnaik had been a goalkeeper for his Doon School hockey team and it is that early love which led to his support for the game, as Odisha sponsor the teams right from the junior to the senior levels, both men and women.
Hockey India on Thursday named the 20-member Indian Men’s Hockey Team who will represent the country in the upcoming FIH Pro League matches in South Africa against South Africa and France which will be played in Potchefstroom South Africa from 8th February to 13th February.
The Indian team will be led by Manpreet Singh and Vice Captained by Harmanpreet Singh in the season opener. The team will see two new faces in promising young drag-flicker Jugraj Singh and speedy forward Abhishek.
The 20-member squad includes goalkeepers PR Sreejesh, Krishan Bahadur Pathak, defenders Harmanpreet Singh, Amit Rohidas, Surender Kumar, Varun Kumar, Jarmanpreet Singh, Jugraj Singh. Midfield will see Manpreet Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Hardik Singh, Jaskaran Singh, Shamsher Singh, and Vivek Sagar Prasad in action. The forward line includes Mandeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Akashdeep Singh, Shilanand Lakra, Dilpreet Singh, and Abhishek.
The Indian Team will leave for South Africa from Bengaluru on 4 February. They will play France in the first match on 8 February at 2130 hrs IST and take on South Africa on 9 February at 2130hrs IST. They will play France on 12 February at 2130hrs IST and hosts South Africa on the following day at 2130hrs IST.
Matches will be live on Star Sports Select 2 and Star Sports Select 2 HD. Matches will also be shown live on Hotstar
Notably, Odisha – the Eastern State of India – is known for its love for Hockey and over the years it has evolved to be the Global Hub of Hockey. The State successfully hosted the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018, followed by the FIH Men’s Series Finals Bhubaneswar Odisha, FIH Olympic Qualifiers Odisha, and FIH Hockey Pro League 2020-21. Odisha has previously hosted the Champions Trophy 2014 and the Odisha Men’s Hockey World League Final Bhubaneswar 2017. Odisha also hosted the FIH Men’s Hockey Junior World Cup in 2021.