Veteran midfielder Sushila Chanu is set to make her World Cup debut

Experienced midfielder Sushila Chanu, who is about to make her debut World Cup appearance, says: “It’s an emotional moment for me.”

Veteran midfielder Sushila Chanu, who is set to make her debut at the World Cup, says: “It’s an emotional moment for me.” Sushila Chanu has played 208 games for India. She has also represented India at back-to-back Olympics, winning a bronze medal at the 2014 Asian Games. However, on July 3, the Manipur-born midfielder will play her first World Cup match.

As such, she cannot contain her excitement ahead of India’s first match at the FIH Women’s World Championship on July 3 in Amstelveen, Netherlands, against her biggest rivals, England. “In 2018 I missed the World Cup in London due to an injury. After that, I struggled with my form which caused me to miss the Asian Games that year. It was perhaps one of the biggest lows of my career. It was a difficult phase, but I really wanted to get through it and earn my place in the squad again,” Sushila recalled with emotion.

The rise

After missing the 2018 Asian Games in Palembang-Jakarta, where India won a silver medal, and the 2018 World Cup, where India made it to the quarterfinals, Sushila returned with a bang and has been a big part of growth in the past of the team four years. With her help, India won both the FIH Series Finals and the FIH Olympic Qualifiers in Bhubaneswar, India. She also played a very important role in the Tokyo Olympics and represented India in the 2021 Women’s Asia Cup.

Sushila earned her 200th cap while representing India in the 2021-22 FIH Women’s Hockey Pro League. India came in third place. Speaking on the sidelines of the team’s training match against Chile in Amstelveen on Tuesday night, Sushila Chanu commented: “I am very happy and excited to have this opportunity to represent India at the World Cup. For many of my team-mates it’s the second appearance at the World Cup, but for me it’s the first. It’s an emotional moment for me and I’m sure it will remain unforgettable for us.”

Further

Sushila said of the mood in the dressing room ahead of the big event: “We arrived in Amstelveen just after our Pro League games in Rotterdam ended last week. We had enough time to settle into the team hotel and also trained at the World Cup venue.”

“Everyone is definitely pumped up and looking forward to giving 100 percent. The Netherlands are a fantastic venue for hockey and the hosts created a great atmosphere for the participating teams. We’re all looking forward to our first game and a good start against England is what we need,” said Chanu.

India’s first Group B game is against England on July 3 at 00:00 IST. Matches will be shown live on Star Sports First and streamed on Disney+ Hotstar for those who want to watch.

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