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Odisha player Birendra Lakra selected for four-nation Hockey tournament

KalingaTV News Network

Bhubaneswar: Ace defender Birendra Lakra has been included in the 20-member team as the only player from Odisha to take part in the 2018 Four Nations Invitational Tournament in New Zealand starting from January 17.

Besides Lakra, two players from the state -Dipsan Tirkey and Amit Rohidas-  had recently played for India in the Men’s Hockey World League Finals.However, the omission of  Dipsan from the national team has surprised the hockey fans in the state.

Hockey India on Monday announced the team which will be led by 25-year-old midfielder Manpreet Singh, while Chinglensana Singh Kangujam will be his deputy.

Seasoned goalkeeper PR Sreejesh, who missed some of the key tournaments in 2017 due to knee injury, has made a comeback after nearly eight months.

Four fresh youngsters will make their debut during the tour. Krishan Bahadur Pathak, the goalkeeper who was part of the junior World Cup-winning squad, has made it to the team along with his junior teammate Simranjeet Singh, a midfielder. The other two players are midfielder Vivek Sagar Prasad and forward Dilpreet Singh, both of whom impressed during the bronze-winning performance at the Sultan Johor Cup.

India will compete with Belgium, Japan and hosts New Zealand at Tauranga and Hamilton.