Indian hockey stalwart Sardar Singh, on Wednesday (September 12), announced his retirement from international hockey. Thus the former India skipper brought an end to his glorious 12-year career.
Sardar revealed he took the decision after India’s disappointing campaign in he Asian Games. Despite being the favourites, India could only manage to win bronze.
“Yes, I have decided to retire from international hockey. I have played enough hockey in my career. 12 years is a long time. Now it’s time for the future generation to take over,” the hockey legend told PTI.
“I took the decision after consultation with my family in Chandigarh, Hockey India and my friends. I think it’s the right time to think about life beyond hockey,” Singh added.
Singh announced the decision on the same day he failed to find a spot in the 25-member core group named by Hockey India for the national camp to begin on September 16 at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium, Bhubaneswar.
The decision comes as a surprise especially after what he said during the Asian Games. Singh had expressed desires to play one last Olympics in 2020 Tokyo.
But it looks like the latest snub from Hockey India has played a big part in his decision. Singh did not respond to the questions about his exclusion from the camp. The midfielder also said he would formally announce his retirement during a press conference in New Delhi on Friday.
Singh has been a regular feature in the Indian team since making his senior debut way back in 2006 against Pakistan. He represented India in over 350 games. He also led the team for eight long years from 2008 to 2016 before handing the responsibility to PR Sreejesh.
Singh became the youngest Indian captain when he led the side at the 2008 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. He received the Arjuna award in 2012 and Padma Shri in 2015. He has also represented India twice at the Olympics.