BHUBANESWAR: On a day when India unveiled its revamped venue for the FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup here, the national team’s preparations received a serious jolt. Veteran striker SV Sunil could well be out of the big-ticket event, sources confirmed to TimesofIndia.com.
The Government of Odisha, in association with Hockey India, has refurbished the Kalinga Stadium that will host the World Cup from November 28 to December 16. As part of the venue’s opening ceremony on Wednesday, an exhibition match involving the past legends and present players will be played on the newly-laid turf.
While Sunil is expected to play a limited role in the match between teams led by former India players Dilip Tirkey and Dhanraj Pillay, a left-knee injury has ruled him out of the World Cup.
Sources told TimesofIndia.com that Sunil picked up the injury during the national camp currently on in Bhubaneswar, ahead of the Asian Champions Trophy (ACT) in Muscat, Oman, later this month. Sunil, however, was rested for that tournament.
“He was advised not to stretch his runs on the new turf, which is still settling in and a bit slippery. But during one of the training drills, while trying to take a reverse hit, at the end of his sprint, he banged his knee into the ground,” sources told TimesofIndia.com
“The initial assessment here in Bhubaneswar isn’t promising and his World Cup seems to be over before it began. He will soon be flown to Delhi for a final call, but it’s highly unlikely that he will recover in time.” the source added.
The Karnataka forward has played over 200 internationals for India and is considered to be the leader of the Indian attack along with Akashdeep Singh.
Source : timesofindia