Ace midielder Manpreet Singh was on Tuesday named as the skipper of the 16-member Indian men’s hockey team for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.
On the other hand, experienced defenders Birendra Lakra and Harmanpreet Singh were named as Manpreet’s deputy in the showpiece event.
Commenting on the develooment, Chief coach Graham Reid said: “All three players have been an integral part of the team’s leadership over these past couple of years and have shown a lot of maturity in guiding the youngsters during these challenging times. Naming two vice-captains we believe will also strengthen our leadership in what is going to be a demanding tournament. We are confident that together they will guide the team to success.”
Meanwhile, Manpreet said: “This Olympics will be truly special, and I am humbled to have this opportunity of representing India at the Olympics for the third time, this time as team captain. It is a very proud moment for me to be given this charge. Over these past few years, we have developed a strong leadership group and have successfully overcome the challenges posed by the pandemic to not drop our form and keep our minds and fitness focused towards doing well at the Olympics.”
Under Manpreet’s captaincy, the Indian team had lifted the Asia Cup in 2017, the Asian Champions Trophy in 2018 and the FIH Series Final in 2019.
India will begin their campaign on July 24 against New Zealand in their first Pool stage match.