Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], Oct 30 : Ahead of the crucial FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers Odisha matches against Russia, Hockey India (HI) has announced Birender Lakra as replacement of defender-drag flicker Varun Kumar, who sustained an injury on his shoulder and right bicep.
“Varun Kumar injured his shoulder and right bicep on Monday while training. He has been receiving treatment since then but unfortunately, it has not shown enough signs of improvement,” said coach Graham Reid on Wednesday.
“Following the advice from our medical staff who have suggested that he requires rest for a few weeks before he returns to action, we have decided to replace him with Birendra Lakra, a class defender with over 170 international caps. He is very experienced and knows well the conditions in Bhubaneswar and is ready to play,” he added.
The winners of the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers Odisha will qualify for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
The winners will be determined as follows: Teams will be ranked according to the number of points each has accumulated in both matches (for each match, three points are awarded to the winner, one point to each team in the event of a draw).
However, if there is equality among the two teams, then the teams will be placed according to their respective goal difference. But if the equality still remains, then a shoot-out competition will be played to get the winner.
Indian 18-man team: PR Sreejesh, Krishan Bahadur Pathak, Harmanpreet Singh, Birender Lakra, Surender Kumar, Gurinder Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh, Amit Rohidas, Manpreet Singh (c), Nilakanta Sharma, Hardik Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, SV Sunil (vc), Mandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Ramandeep Singh, and Simranjeet Singh.
FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers Odisha while the women’s team will take on the USA before men’s match on the same day.
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