Rasquinha omitted from Doha Asiad team

Experienced midfielder Viren Rasquinha has been omitted from the 16-member Indian men's hockey team for the Doha Asian Games.

updated: February 25, 2007 11:37 IST
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New Delhi:

Experienced midfielder Viren Rasquinha was a surprise omission from the 16-member Indian men's hockey team for the Doha Asian Games announced on Saturday. Young right-half Gurbaj Singh took Rasquina's place in the squad that will be led by veteran defender Dilip Tirkey. Rasquinha's name, however, featured in the squad put up on the official Doha Games website two days ago. Also, IHF secretary K Jothikumaran gave contradictory statements when asked about Rasquina being left out. "A fitness test was conducted yesterday and the team was picked up by the selectors on that basis," the IHF Secretary said. Jothikumaran, however, denied that Rasquinha had any injury or fitness problem. Rasquinha's absence could leave a big hole in the Indian midfield as Ignace Tirkey is the only other player in that area with enough international exposure. VS Vinay is another midfielder who has been in the side for some time, but the onus will be on Ignace, who led India to 1-0 victory over Pakistan on their own soil earlier this year. The team will depart for Doha from here tomorrow morning. India, placed in Pool B, will meet Bangladesh in their opening match on December 4. They will take on China (December 5), Oman (December 8) and Korea (December 10) in the league matches. (PTI)