Rani Rampal has not been included in the 20-member India squad for the upcoming FIH Women's Nations Cup, set to be played at the Estadio Betero in Valencia, Spain from December 10 to 17, 2022.
Savita Punia has been named the captain for the tournament while Deep Grace Ekka will be the vice-captain. Forward Beauty Dungdung is all-set to make her international debut at the tournament while experienced midfielder Navjot Kaur returned to the squad after missing the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 due to COVID-19.
It is not clear why Rampal has been dropped from the current squad as she recently played in the National Games and helped Haryana clinch the gold medal, scoring 18 goals in six matches.
Speaking about the squad, head coach Janneke Schopman said, "I'm very happy with the performance of the entire playing group in this camp. Our level is getting higher and the group is very competitive. It was difficult to pick 20 players but I believe this group will have a good chance to perform well and show what we have been working on."
The FIH Women's Nations Cup is an important fixture in the international calendar as it brings in a system of promotion-relegation, where the champions will be promoted to the Pro League's 2023-2024 season.
India are grouped in Pool B along with Canada, Japan and South Africa. The other teams in the fray are Ireland, Italy, Korea and Spain who are grouped in pool A.
The team played in the Pro League for the first time last season and finished third. However, they had an underwhelming World Cup campaign, finishing ninth but ended the season on a high by winning the bronze in the Commonwealth Games.
Goalkeepers: Savita (captain), Bichu Devi Kharibam.
Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka (vice-captain), Gurjit Kaur, Nikki Pradhan, Udita, Ishika Chaudhary.
Midfielders: Nisha, Salima Tete, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Monika, Neha, Sonika, Jyoti, Navjot Kaur.
Forwards: Vandana Katariya, Lalremsiami, Navneet Kaur, Sangita Kumari, Beauty Dungdung.