Defender Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam has been given the responsibility of leading the women’s hockey team for the upcoming four-nation tournament in Darwin, Australia which is beginning on May 30. The 24 year old is taking over from Captain Ritu Rani who has been rested for this tournament, while the vice-captain position still remains with Deepika Thakur.
“It is a huge honour to be named captain of the squad for the tour. We have already faced Japan and New Zealand earlier at the Hawke’s Bay Cup. Our chief aim will be to perform well against Japan and Australia and analyse their game at close quarters since they are in our pool at the Olympics,” an elated Sushila said to DNA.
The Indian team will be competing with the hosts and World No. 3 Australia, No.4 New Zealand and No.10 Japan in the tournament down under, which is being seen as a preparatory event before the Olympics begin in August.
Leading the team as they prepare for their Olympic campaign is no small deal; here are some quick facts on the defender who got this opportunity:
- Currently 24 years of age, Sushila was born on 25 February 1992. Since 2010, she has been working as the junior ticket collector at the Central Mumbai Railway.
- The second daughter to her parents, Pukhrambam Shyamsundar Singh and late Pukhrambam Oingbi Lata Devi, Sushila was actually pushed into playing hockey by her uncle Rabindro Singh. She began her practice sessions with the Posterior Hockey Team, Manipur.
- She played her first international match for India in 2008 when she represented India in the Under-21 Asia Hockey Cup tournament which was held in Malaysia.
- In 2009, she also participated in Under-19 Asia Cup for Hockey tournament in China.
- In 2013, she was the captain of the junior Indian team. During her captainship, she led the team to a bronze medal win at the Junior World Cup held in Germany.
Feature Image Credit: Rajasthan Patrika