It was on the cards. India's victorious captain in the inaugural Asian Champions Trophy in China recently, Rajpal Singh, will not lead the national team in the upcoming four-nation nine-a-side Super Series and an international tournament in Australia.
Hockey India (HI), instead of reposing faith in Rajpal, has chosen goalkeeper Bharat Chhetri to lead the side on the tour beginning October 12.
Sources in HI said, Rajpal's demotion was imminent, as he had led the players' revolt against the federation for giving meager rewards after the successful tour of China.
Rajpal's revolt did not go down well with HI secretary-general, Narinder Batra. Sources in HI said the revolt would curtail Rajpal's playing career as the federation would always be suspicious of him and avoid giving him responsibility.
"Players who speak against the system are generally shown the door. Take the examples of Deepak Thakur and Prabhjot Singh," said a source. Batra was not available for comment.
Meanwhile, the controversial duo of Sandeep Singh and Sardara Singh has been recalled to the team for the tour. Midfield stalwart Ignace Tirkey has been appointed Chhetri's deputy, while PR Sreejesh - who shot into limelight with his super show in the Asian Champions Trophy final against Pakistan - will be the second goalkeeper in the 22-member squad.
Arjun Halappa, who missed the Asian Champions Trophy due to a groin problem, also returns to the team along with Tushar Khandker and Bharat Chikara.