SNS | Bhubaneswar
India will need to win against New Zealand in the crossover match on Sunday to make the Quarterfinal of the World Cup. Statesman News Service
Indian star midfielder Hardik Singh was on Saturday ruled out of the Hockey World Cup clash much to the major disappointment of millions of his fans a day before the crucial crossover match against New Zealand on Sunday.
Hockey India announced that Raj Kumar Pal will replace Hardik Singh who sustained a hamstring injury during the match against England on 15 January.
Hardik was found not fully fit to play rest of the tournament. Disclosing this, Chief Coach Graham Reid said, “Overnight we had to make the difficult decision to replace Hardik Singh in the team for Sunday’s match vs New Zealand and the subsequent World Cup matches.”
“While the injury was not as severe as the initial incident suggested, time was not on our side and after our ongoing thorough rehabilitation process and functional and on-field assessment today, it has been decided that we will replace Hardik with Raj Kumar Pal.
While it is extremely disappointing for Hardik personally of course, given how well he played in our first two matches, we are excited at the prospects of Raj Kumar joining the group for the remaining World Cup matches,” said the coach.
Having finished the second in Pool D, India will need to win against New Zealand in the crossover match on Sunday to make the Quarterfinal of the World Cup.