The Indian hockey fraternity and fans were in for a surprise as ex-captain of the women’s Hockey team Ritu Rani called it quits from her international career. This was allegedly after she felt deeply hurt following her snub from the Rio-bound squad due to ‘attitude’ problems. The Sportsrush looks at the frosty adieu and the reasons behind the same.
Even though Ritu was included in the 29 probables for the National camp in Bhopal, people believe that the axing from the national squad was a very bitter pill to swallow. “We got a mail from Ritu Rani 2-3 days back stating that she will not be able to join the national camp as she is retiring from international hockey,” stated Hockey India president Narinder Batra.
However, he thanked Ritu for her contribution to Indian hockey. “It is her personal decision and we at Hockey India would like to thank her for her service to the game and the nation”, he added. Incidentally, it was under Ritu’s captaincy that the team qualified for the Rio Olympics after a long drought of 36 years by finishing 5th in the 2014-15 Women’s FIH Hockey World League Semifinals.
Ritu was an accomplished halfback in the Indian women’s team boasting of several accolades. Hailing from Haryana, she trained at the Shahbad Hockey Academy and made her debut at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha. She was the leading goal scorer at the 2009 Champions Challenge II in Kazan, Russia.
She was given the responsibility of captaincy in 2011. It was here through which Ritu Rani left an indelible mark on Indian hockey by captaining India to a bronze medal at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games and a silver medal at the 2013 Champions Trophy.
Though the ending was not glorious and Ritu had to bid a frosty adieu, the Sportsrush thanks her for her contributions to Indian women’s hockey.