The Women's Hockey Captain Who Led India To Rio Olympic After 36 Years, Dropped Out Of Team
There’s a whole new excitement over the Indian Women’s Hockey Team that has qualified for the Olympics Games after a gap of 36 years. As expectations are soaring up, there’s some bad news from the dressing room. Ritu Rani, the talented captain of the team has been dropped. Ritu Rani led the team which defeated Poland 3-1 in the second round of the FIH Hockey World League last year. Indian Women’s Hockey Team has qualified for the Olympic Games after a gap of 36 years. But the captain,Ritu Rani, who spearheaded the team which qualified for the Rio Olympics 2016 was excluded from the final team which will play in the Rio Olympics.
Achievements of Ritu Rani
→ At 14 she made to the team which represented India in Asian Doha Games.
→ Youngest player in the squad which represented India in 2006 Women’s Hockey World Cup, Madrid.
→ Played in Champions Challenge II in Kazan, Russia, where the Indian team emerged victorious, the Haryanvi ended up finishing as the top scorer with eight goals.
→ Was appointed as the Indian Captain at a tender age of 19.
→ 2 bronze medal finishes at 2013 Asian cup in Kuala Lumpur.
→ 1 bronze in 2014 Asian Games in Incheon.
→ A brilliant midfielder, a very tactical position.
→ Represented India more than 200 times.
→ Most experienced player in the team with 213 caps to her name.
Ritu hits back, coach not impressed
Ever since she got engaged to Patiala-based Punjabi singer Harsh Sharma, questions were being raised about her focus on the game by the management. Ritu has hit back ,”For someone who has been playing for a long time now, blaming focus is not right. I was only focused on my game and Rio at the camp also,” said the former captain to The Hindu a couple of days back. The team head coach Neil Hawgood, however, has not been impressed.
Without the midfield champion
One is not really sure what transpired but the question that remains unanswered is why Hawgood waited so long to take a call on Ritu with the Olympics just a month away. Indian hockey has been synonymous with controversies, and this one will have an impact as Ritu is a key operator in the midfield. Her presence in the midfield is key for India. For a team that qualified for the Olympics after 36 years under her captaincy when Hawgood was not even the team’s head coach, India would be taking a big risk heading to the Rio Olympics without Ritu.