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Big names may miss out

After announcing that the list of 32 probables for the upcoming Indo-Pak six-match series will be declared on January 31, the IHF has now said that the list will come out only after the PHL finals are over.

india Updated: Jan 31, 2006 02:41 IST

After announcing that the list of 32 probables for the upcoming Indo-Pak six-match series will be declared on January 31, the IHF has now said that the list will come out only after the PHL finals are over. But if sources are to be believed, this time around, some big names are out of reckoning for this series.

The experienced trio of Gagan Ajit Singh, Prabhjot Singh and Viren Rasquinha has been "rested" keeping the Commonwealth Games in mind. Sources say that while midfielder Viren was told that he had to undergo rehabilitation and get injury-free before coming back, Gagan and Prabhjot have been dropped due to bad performance. Reliable sources have revealed that Arjun Halappa may also be rested for the series, while Dilip Tirkey may be excused from the Indian leg because of his marriage.

Both the selectors and IHF secretary K Jothikumaran insist that the selection committee will meet only on Tuesday, and the final list will be decided then. However Jothikumaran did admit that the list was almost finalized. "We have drawn a list of probables. In fact, players from the rest of the teams in PHL (excluding the finalists) have already been picked and told whether they need to report for the camp. But the list will be out only after the final, because we want to watch the players play all the matches," said Jothikumaran. Another interesting information is the inclusion of Jugraj Singh and Tejbir Singh. Jugraj, who has been playing domestic hockey for some time now, has also been part of several national fitness camps in the past one year.

Tejbir, once considered amongst India's finest strikers, also makes a return. IHF officials have also indicated that, after his impressive performance in the PHL, Len Aiyappa - considered the finest drag-flicker in the country at the moment -- can also make a comeback. Another name doing the rounds is of Deepak Thakur, who is amongst the highest goalscorers in PHL this year.

First Published: Jan 31, 2006 02:41 IST