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2008 Azlan Shah Cup
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Indian Team for the 17th Azlan Shah (5/5/2008)
--s2h team
So, it is another edition of Azlan Shah. There was lot of talk last year that the 17th editons will be a grand one as the state of Perak is celebrating its cherished King Sultan Azlan Shah's 80th year. We, who were covering the previous edition at Ipoh, were told that as many as twelve teams will be assembled to commemorate the great hockey lovers Azlan Shah's milestone in his life.

It is not there. It was originally thought of eight teams, but as the Australians indulge in second thought, now the field is of seven teams. This is one way good because all the teams will meet each other, unlike in the case of 8 teams which will be divided into two pools. IN effect, you have more team to have less matches. That situation thankfully is obtaining there and for that the Australians need to be thanked.

Argentina and India, besides the hosts Malaysia are the teams in the fray without having to be in the Beijings. The others notably China, have the envious tag of Beijing status. So it is in a way a batttle between the haves and have nots.

India, of late, is in the have not group. The team, whose leader is still to be named, will be a mix of juniors and established players. Most of the juniors who were training in Sonepat, a city near New Delhi, will be joined by seven or eight players from Australia. The senior team recently tourned Australia and played in the two four-nation touronaments and of course finished at bottom in both. Players like Tushar Khankar, Sardara Singh, Gurbaj Singh, and Baljit Singh, the goalkeeper, will all be coming to Ipoh straight from Darwin.

Eleven players in India, with chief coach AK Bansal, coach Rajesh Chauhan are leaving New Delhi in a few hours time, on 5th May.

Interstingly, since the Indian Hockey Federation has been suspended by the parent body Indian Olympic Association, the team has been approved by the newly constituted five member ad-hoc selection committee.

There is also an interesting aspect to the list of the Selection Committee. For the first for a major tournament, both Carvalho and Charlesworth's names are proposed together. It is to be seen how the both gell there in Ipoh and significantly what roles are defined for 'Advisor' Charlesworth and 'Observer' Carvalho.

The Team

PR Sreejesh
Baljit Singh(Adrian D'Souza)
Sandeep Singh
Samir Baxla (V. Raghunath)
Diwakar Ram
Innocent Kullu
Sarvanjit Singh
Ranjeet Singh
Bikram Kanth
Sardara Singh
AB Cheeyana
Vivek
S.V. Sunil
Gurvinder Singh
Tushar Khandkar (Birendra Lakra)
Shivender Singh
Mandeep Antil
Gurbaj Singh

Officials:

A.K. Bansal (Chief coach)
Ric Charlseworth (Adviser)
R.K. Shetty (Manager)(Pargat Singh)
Joaquiam Carvalho (Observer)
Rajesh Chauhan (Coach),
Ramesh Parameshwaran (Asst. Coach)
Shrikant Iyenger (Physio)
M. V. Mathai (Trainer).

Note: Those mentioned in the brackets made it to the tournaments in place of those mentioned against their name

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