Hockey India named PR Sreejesh and Sushila Chanu as captains of the Indian men’s hockey team and women’s hockey team, respectively, that will compete at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Sreejesh, one of the finest custodians in world hockey at the moment, was rewarded after the team, under his leadership, ended up with a silver medal at the blue riband six-nation Champions Trophy hockey tournament in London in which Sardar did not play. He played a stellar role in leading India to their best finish in the 38-year-history of the tournament.
Playmaker SV Sunil, who is also a key component in the team, has been named vice-captain.
Things fell in place for Sreejesh at the right time and went awry for Sardar, who has been going through a torrid time both on and off the field.
His performance has dipped on the field as he is no longer as sharp a midfielder as he used to be. Off it, allegations of rape after pormising marriage levelled by a British national has also dented his reputation.
Sushila was appointed the Indian women’s hockey team after Ritu Rani was dropped by the selectors due to poor form and attitude problems.
Indian women’s team qualified for the first time in Olympics after stellar show at the Hockey World League Semifinals in 2015. Their maiden and till now only appearance in the Olympics was in the 1980 Moscow edition, but there was no qualification process back then.