Former Indian hockey captain Sardar Singh on Wednesday retired from the International hockey saying he had played enough in the last 12 years and now it’s time for the youngsters to take over. The verdict comes after India finished with a disappointing bronze medal in the recently concluded Asian Games. His performance was under scrutiny as he was missing on speed which is a basic necessity in modern hockey.
“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,” Sardar told PTI as reported by Times of India.
“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,” he added.
The Haryana lad wished to play the 2020 Tokyo Olympics but was forced to retire after he was dropped from the 25-member core group for national camp, announced by Hockey India on Wednesday.
Sardar made his senior debut against Pakistan in 2006 and has spearhead the Indian midfield for 12 long years. He has 350 International caps to his name and captained Indian team from 2008 to 2016. He was the youngest ever captain of India after he was named the skipper in 2008 Sultan Azlan Shah cup. Sardar has represented India in 2012 and 2016 Olympics.
He has also represented Delhi Waveriders and Jaypee Punjab Warriors in Hockey India League.
Rise from the ashes
Sardar was dropped from the Indian squad for Commonwealth Games which almost brought a dead end to his career. He was criticized for his slow paced game that didn’t helped the cause of India’s midfield and he was sidelined by Sjoerd Marjine who was the national coach at that time.
The veteran midfielder who then started working hard on his fitness. In the process he achieved a score of 21.4 in yo-yo test and surpassed the 16.1 mark which is set for the selection in the Indian cricket team.
Talking about his fitness
“Fitness is not the reason behind my decision. I am fit enough to play hockey for some more years. But there is always a time for everything and I feel it’s time for me to move on in life,” he said.
Sardar said he has convey told about his decision to chief coach Harendra Singh, adding he will continue to play hockey in the domestic circuit.
We will miss you Sardar….
The former captain was India’s key player when the team was struggling to find its way in the phase of 2011-2014. He single handedly won matches for the team courtesy of his mid-field brilliance. He will be missed…..