The obstacles of no play amid coronavirus have finally come to an end for Indian junior women’s hockey team. The team will re-start its competition and is all set to tour Chile for six matches later this month.
The Indian team will take on the junior Chile team on January 17 and 18 following which it will head the senior Chile team on January 20, 21, 23 and 24.
“The junior women’s team has worked very hard since returning to the National Coaching Camp in October and it will be great to see the players execute their skills in a match environment in Chile,” Indian junior women’s hockey team coach Erik Wonink said in a release.
Hockey India on Friday named a 4-member junior women’s squad, which will be led by defender Suman Devi Thoudam, while Ishika Chaudhary will serve as the vice-captain, as per PTI.
The tour will warm up the Indian team for the all-important Junior World Cup scheduled this year.
“We are absolutely ecstatic about touring Chile as it’s been a while since we got some match practice due to the coronavirus pandemic, so this will be a good outing especially as it’s coming at an apt time,” Thoudam said.
“It’s been very difficult to stay away from tournaments and the tour of Chile has come at the right time. We have practiced well in the last few months and the games against Chile will help us prepare for the Junior Asia Cup which will be held in April 2021.”
The matches will be held in safe bio-bubble spheres.
“The entire Indian squad (players & support staff) will be tested twice (once within 72 hours of departure from India & once at arrival in Chile) before the Indian team starts training in Chile,” HI said.
“An affidavit along with the negative PCR test result of each individual travelling squad member has to be submitted at entry in Chile.”
The governing body said “at all times the Indian team has to stick to a strict health bubble and move uniquely and exclusively from the hotel to the pitch and from pitch to the hotel.”
“There will be no movement of members out of the hotel except for training and match days.”
The Indian team had last played a competition against Australia and New Zealand in a three Nations tournament in December 2019.
Indian junior women’s squad: Khushboo, Rashanpreet Kaur, Mahima Choudhary, Priyanka, Suman Devi Thoudam (Captain), Gagandeep Kaur, Ishika Chaudhary (Vice Captain), Sushma Kumari, Akshata Dhekale, Baljeet Kaur, Chetna, Mariana Kujur, Ajmina Kujur, Reet, Prabhleen Kaur, Vaishnavi Phalke, Preeti, Jiwan Kishori Toppo, Mumtaz Khan, Rutuja Pisal, Sangita Kumari, Beauty Dungdung, Lalrindiki, Deepika.