Bhubaneswar(Samaya Bureau): They have made Odisha proud. Five players women hockey players from Odisha, Sunita Lakra, Namita Toppo,Deep Grace Ekka, , Lilima Minz and Anupa Barla, have clinched their berths in the 18-member Indian women’s squad for the Hockey World League (HWL) Semi Final scheduled to be held between July 8 to 23 in Johannesburg, in South Africa. The team to be led by striker Rani Rampal was announced by Hockey India (HI) on Wednesday.
While Deep Grace Ekka and Sunita Lakra were announced among the defenders of the team, Namita Toppo and Lilima Minz will be placed in the midfielders. Anupa Barla will be a part of the strikers.
India are in Pool B along with strong opponents Argentina, South Africa, Chile and the United States. India will begin their campaign against South Africa on July 8.
Team India lost the five-match bilateral series against hosts New Zealand 0-5. Hence the women in blue must have to start firing as the HWL Semi Final also happens to be a qualifying tournament for the 2018 Women’s World Cup in London.
Germany, England, Ireland, Japan and Poland will also participate in the event.
Ahead of their departure at the end of this month, the national squad will undergo a week’s training programme in New Delhi.