Bhubaneswar: India goalkeeper PR Sreejesh on Wednesday left the squad and flew home to visit his father, PV Raveendran, who has been hospitalised back home in Kerala due to a heart ailment.
The 30-year-old will be available for India’s next Hockey World Cup game against Canada on Saturday and is expected to return in time to train with the team on Thursday.
Sreejesh, whose hockey journey began when Raveendran enrolled his son at the GV Raja Sports School in Thiruvananthapuram, told Scroll.in that his father is now doing fine.
Sreejesh’s presence is crucial for the Indian team against the Canadians. Apart from his goalkeeping prowess, the former captain is often seen directing his teammates from the back.
India’s result against Canada will determine their position in Pool C. If they don’t top their group, they need to play in the crossover stage of the tournament against one of the four teams from Pool D (Germany, Netherlands, Malaysia, Pakistan). When India take on Canada at 7 pm on Saturday, they will know precisely what to do to top their group.
In their first match of the World Cup, against South Africa, India triumphed 5-0. Last Sunday, they drew 2-2 with world No 2 Belgium.