By Sahil Kohli
Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], June 24 (ANI): Goalkeeper Savita Punia, the captain of the Indian women's hockey team for the FIH Women's Hockey World Cup, said that everyone is excited for the event.
FIH Women's Hockey World Cup will be held in Netherlands and Spain starting from July 1 to July 17, 2022.
"Of course, I am excited for the World Cup. Everyone is excited as a big tournament is arriving after the Olympics. I also have a responsibility as a leader. We are all focused on our job," said Punia in an exclusive interview with ANI ahead of the World Cup.
On raised expectations from Indian women's hockey after the Tokyo Olympics, Punia admitted that the hopes of people have indeed been raised.
"This did not happen by a chance. We achieved this by playing good hockey. Our level has increased as well. We started working on big tournaments just after the Olympics, with the same ways and motivation. We also have goals that we want to achieve. For that, every match and tournament is a do-or-die situation for us. We will try showing our great hockey to all," she added.
On the team's regular captain Rani Rampal, who is currently recovering from an injury, Punia said that Rampal is a good player and had been with the team for a long time. "Senior players do help but our youngsters also have a lot of energy. I feel lucky playing with these youngsters since they have a lot of energy and motivation and they put in a lot of effort. So we try to play and fight as a team," she added.
Punia feels that her team's good performances during the ongoing FIH Pro League will help them during the World Cup.
"It is good that we played against great teams before the World Cup, thanks to Pro League. Even before we entered the Pro League, we were excited that we will get to play against top teams. Because of Pro League, we got to play against all great teams and this has helped with our preparation. We have to continue our good game in the upcoming tournaments," she said.
FIH Women's Hockey World Cup to be held in Netherlands and Spain starting from July 1 to July 17, 2022. Hockey India on Tuesday named the 18-member Indian women's team for the most-awaited FIH Women's Hockey World Cup to be held in Netherlands and Spain starting from July 1 to July 17, 2022.
India grouped in Pool B along with England, New Zealand and China will begin their campaign on July 3 against nemesis England, to whom they lost the Bronze Medal in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
The Indian team will be captained by ace goalkeeper Savita and vice captained by Deep Grace Ekka.
India squad: Goalkeepers: Savita (C), Bichu Devi Kharibam
Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka (VC), Gurjit Kaur, Nikki Pradhan, Udita
Midfielders: Nisha, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Monika, Neha, Jyoti, Navjot Kaur, Sonika, Salima Tete
Forwards: Vandana Katariya, Lalremsiami, Navneet Kaur, Sharmila Devi
Replacement players: Akshata Abaso Dhekale, Sangita Kumari. (ANI).