Manpreet to miss Azlan Shah Cup following father’s demise
Indian men’s hockey team on Wednesday suffered a big jolt even before the start of their Sultan Azlan Shah Cup opener against Japan after centre-half Manpreet Singh was ruled out of the tournament following the sudden death of his father.
Manpreet on Wednesday returned home on hearing the death of his father just before India’s opening fixture against Japan, which the Sardar Singh-led side won 2-1 at the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium here.
India’s squad was reduced to 17 for the opening match against Japan and to make matters worse they will not be able to get a replacement for Manpreet. Manpreet got the news of his father’s demise hours before the match against Japan. He was immediately given permission to return to Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur and board the evening flight to India. It takes three hours by road to reach Kuala Lumpur from Ipoh. A minute’s silence was observed before the start of the match between India and Japan. The Indian team also sported black arm-bands as a mark of respect to Manpreet’s father. India chief coach Roelant Oltmans said the loss of the pivotal centre-half was a big blow for the team.