Greater Noida, Nov 30 (PTI) Former skipper Sardar Singh is impressed with India’s “dream” start to their campaign at the hockey World Cup and Friday hoped the hosts will continue the superb run to reclaim the coveted title after 43 years. Also Read - Amid China Snooping, US Govt Charges 5 Chinese Nationals Over Mega Hacking Scheme; Indian Govt Targetted

India registered a comprehensive 5-0 win against South Africa to make a sizzling start to the World Cup — a tournament the hosts won only once — in the 1975 edition at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Also Read - New Coronavirus Strain 'D614G' Detected in Malaysia, Said to Be '10 Times More Infectious', All You Need To Know

“It has been a dream start for India at the hockey world cup. We played simple hockey and it is always important to win the first match,” Sardar said on the sidelines of HCL Foundation Annual National Sports Meet – ‘Sports for Change’. Also Read - 'Keeping Quiet Not an Option': Ex-Malaysian PM 'Won't Apologise' For Remarks on Kashmir

“However, the tournament has just begun and a lot of matches are yet to be played. I hope India continues the momentum,” added the 32-year-old, who had retired from international hockey last September.

Over 500 students across 120 schools and 72 Gurukuls were part of the ‘Sports for Change’ initiative and more than 350 under privileged children were shortlisted for the national qualifier round across different sports.

Sardar, who was the chief guest in the event, interacted with the participants and encouraged them for active participation in sports.

“It gives me immense pleasure to see these children excel in sports with passion and enthusiasm. I congratulate HCL for recognizing its importance. Inculcating the spirit of sportsmanship in these young children will lead to better and brighter future for these budding sporting talents,” he said.

As part of the initiative, 30 children will be presented with scholarships supported by HCL Technologies’ ‘Power of One’ initiative.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.