Former Indian Hockey Captain Sardar Singh announced his retirement on Wednesday from all formats saying he had played enough in the last 12 years and now it’s time for the youngsters to take over.
Sardar was awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna last year and is known as one of the most prominent stars of Indian hockey team. Sardar was part of the Indian team at the recent Asian Games where it finished third.
However, calls for his exclusion have been gaining ground claiming he had slowed down with age. At 32, Sardar is not only the senior-most player in the side but also the fittest as per tests held just before the Asiad.
Sardar Singh’s retirement comes after months of speculations of Hockey India wanting him to retire and on a day when he was dropped out of the list of 25 campers for the Asian Champions Trophy and the World Cup.
Singh made his international hockey debut in 2006 against Pakistan in Chandigarh. He soon rose in the ranks and established himself as prominent player known for his skills and shrewdness on the fields.
He was named the captain for the Azlan Shah tournament 2008, making the youngest Indian hockey skipper. Sardar always thrived on his strengths which included crisp passing and sharp tackling. Ability to soak pressure was his USP.
He played over 350 international matches during his long hockey career and captained the Indian team for eight years (2008-2016). Later, he handed over the responsibility to PR Sreejesh.