Sardara Singh, the lone Indian in the FIH World XI, and drag flicker Sandeep Singh will not be in the Indian team when it takes part in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament in Malaysia next month. Hockey India (HI) has decided to exclude them from the squad because of their long absence from the ongoing camp in New Delhi.
Sandeep and Sardara are currently playing in the Belgium League and did not report for the national camp that started on March 15.
“We are not considering Sandeep and Sardara for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup as they failed to attend the national camp. Only those players who have reported for the camp are eligible for the final trials,” said Narinder Batra, secretary general, HI. Another reason for HI’s tough stand is that both Sardara and Sandeep have not taken NOC from the federation before taking up the foreign assignment.
“That calls for disciplinary action. If we are allow them to appear in the trials than we will be setting a wrong precedent,” Batra added.
The HI has also set up a three-member committee headed by Pargat Singh to decide their future. Meanwhile, Hockey India will be conducting two-day trials from Monday to prune the number of probables from 55 to 33. The final trials for the Azlan Shah Cup will be held on April 18-19.
HI is forced to hold trials twice because of a cap on the number of campers set by the Sports Authority of India (SAI).
“Earlier SAI had called all players from the Asian Games list for the camp. Later, we invited 22 more players for the camp.