Hockey India on Friday congratulated the stalwart midfielder Sardar Singh, who recently announced his retirement from the international hockey, for giving 12 long years in the service of the game. The 32-year-old had informed the Hockey India about his decision to retire through a formal letter on Wednesday. He later announced the same on Thursday through a press conference at Chandigarh. Also Read - India Name 8 Debutants in Women's Hockey Team for Tokyo Olympics
Calling the former skipper a true ambassador of the game, president of Hockey India Rajinder Singh stated that with his exemplified determination and dedication, he inspired an entire generation to have a positive attitude towards Hockey. Also Read - Staying Calm in Crunch Situations Will be Key in Olympics: Navneet Kaur
The president further wished the Khel Ratna awardee for his future endeavours. “In the best and worst of times, Sardar Singh has exemplified steely determination. His qualities and dedication as a player make him a true ambassador of the game. He has inspired an entire generation of youngsters with his performances, and as Captain, he led the team to one of the biggest victories at the 2014 Asian Games,” Rajinder Singh said. Also Read - Asian Hockey Federation to Organise Online Education Workshops For Hockey India Coaches, Match Officials
“He has been part of Indian Hockey’s resurgence and elevation in World Ranking. His contribution to the sport will be cherished, and Hockey India would like to congratulate him for his achievements and wish him the very best for his future endeavours,” he added.
The legendary player has been part of India’s essential feats in the past decade, having won Silver medal at 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games, two Asia Cup Gold (in 2007 and 2017) and a silver (2013), Gold at the 2014 Asian Games, Bronze at the World League Final in Raipur 2015 and Silver Medal at the 2011 Champions Challenge.
In 2018, he was part of the Indian team that won a Silver Medal at the FIH Champions Trophy in Breda 2018, Bronze Medal at the 18th Asian Games Jakarta-Palembang 2018.
Sardar was born to a humble farmer’s family and played his first international match with the junior national team during India’s 2003-04 tour of Poland. He made his Senior India debut in 2006 against Pakistan at the bilateral series and also led the Indian team at the 2008 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.
He was awarded player of the tournament in the 2012 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, 2012 London Olympics Qualifiers and 2010 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. In 2010, Sardar was included in the 2010 and 2011 FIH All-Star Team and won the Asian Men Player of the Year 2012.
He was conferred with the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 2017 and was earlier awarded the Padma Shri in 2015. He is currently employed with Haryana Police as Deputy Superintendent.