Rani, who was the vice-captain of the Junior National team in the recent seventh FIH Junior Women's World Cup, played a crucial role in India's bronze medal-winning feat in Germany and was also declared the best player of the tournament. The individual award in the Junior World Cup was the fourth time Rani had received any such recognition in an international tournament and is the only Indian female player to be nominated as FIH Best Young Player of the Tournament at the women's hockey World Cup in 2010.

Rani was nominated to the Asian All Stars Team and FIH All Stars Team, both in 2010. She was also the top goal scorer in the FIH World League Round 2 held in Delhi earlier in 2013. "Her dedication and tireless effort to play hockey and achieve glorious success at this young age is a motivation for budding hockey players of our nation," HI secretary general Narinder Batra said in a statement congratulting Rani.

Rani added: "I am very happy for winning this award and this is the best phase of my life. I would like to thank my parents, coaches and Hockey India for their contribution in my game. Playing for my country is a complete honour and I will continue to work hard to win more games for my team in the coming years."

The 19-year-old Rani, who made her international debut in 2008, had completed 100 international caps against hosts Malaysia in the recently-concluded eighth Women's Asia Cup at Kuala Lumpur.


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