Veteran midfielder Arjun Halappa replaced Rajpal Singh as the captain of the Indian hockey team for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup next month, Hockey India said on Wednesday. But the federation dropped two of the senior-most players from the list of probables on disciplinary grounds.
Drag-flick specialist Sandeep Singh and defender Sardara Singh have been left out after they failed to attend the selection trials, which were held in New Delhi on April 4 and 5, as they are playing in the Belgian League. The duo did not take NOC from HI to play in a foreign league.
“It is not right on their behalf to play a league abroad without informing us. Hence, they have not been considered for the Azlan Shah Cup and we will see what action can be taken against them,” HI secretary-general Narendra Batra said.
The HI has also set up a committee headed by Pargat Singh to decide their future after they return from the league, which ends on May 30. Both, Sandeep and Sardara, were key to coach
Harendra Singh’s plans for the tournament, which begins in Ipoh (Malaysia) on May 5. While Sandeep has been instrumental in the team’s recent success, Sardara is the only Indian to be named in the international hockey federation’s list of best 11 for 2010.