“I am not retiring,” says Rani Rampal, lashes out at team management for national snub

“I am not retiring,” says Rani Rampal, lashes out at team management for national snub

Rani Rampal has been named as the coach of the Indian sub-junior girls team. She has however confirmed that she is not retiring from the sport and lashed out at team management for her prolonged absence from the national team since Tokyo Olympics.

Former Indian Women’s Hockey Captain Rani Rampal on Thursday dismissed rumours of her retirement. The 28-year old however lashed out at the coach Janneke Schopmann and the selectors for being overlooked for the last two years. She was in Chennai to attend the 100th Executive Board Meeting, where she was named as the coach of the Indian sub-junior girls team.

Also Read: Hockey India appoints Sardar Singh and Rani Rampal as coaches of sub-junior teams

“I will continue playing,” confirms Rani Rampal

Rani Rampal, along with former India captain Sardar Singh were made the chief coaches of both the sub-junior boys and girls team respectively on Thursday.

After accepting the offer, Rani was asked the retirement question. Rani responded by saying, “I haven’t retired. I will continue playing.” She last played for India during the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. She led the team to a fourth-place finish in the tournament. Since then, she has been sidelined from the squad.

Rani further added, “Whetever has happened with me in the last two years wasn’t right. I came back from an injury, was the top-scorer at the National Games, but wasn’t picked. Only the Chief Coach or the selectors will be able to explain the reason.”

Following the Olympics, Rani was out of action for a few month owing to a surgery. It was at that time Janneke Schopmann was appointed as the head coach, replacing Sjoerd Marijne. Under Schopmann’s tenure Rani wasn’t able to make a comeback to the side despite returning back to full fitness. She even score a whopping tally of 18 goals in just six matches at the National Games 2022.

“But that incident has not forced me to plan for my retirement yet. I know I still have more to give to the sport as a player. I never want to give up. If I had to, I would have given up after the Olympics,” she said.

We don’t interfere in selection matters: Dilip Tirkey

Hockey India Chief Dilip Tirkey empathised with Rani Rampal. However he said the office-bearers of the Federation don’t interfere in selection matters. “We understand the grief of Rani Rampal. We have talked about her absence from the national team with both selectors and head coach and had conversations with Rani also. However we don’t interfere in these matters. It is upto the coach and selectors,” he said.

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