Sat, 21 Jan 2023 10:51 AM IST
Ahead of India's crucial crossover match against New Zealand on Sunday, injured midfielder Hardik Singh has been ruled out of the ongoing FIH Men's World Cup due to a hamstring injury that he sustained during the goalless clash against England in the group stage.
Hardik was rested for the match against Wales which India won by 4-2. The midfielder will be replaced by alternate player Raj Kumar Pal.
Talking about the decision made by the team management, Chief Coach Graham Reid said: "Overnight we had to make the difficult decision of replacing Hardik Singh in the Indian 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," Reid added.
Having finished second in Pool D, India will need to win against New Zealand in the crossover match on Sunday to make the Quarterfinal of the FIH Odisha Hockey Men's World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar-Rourkela.