Sardar retires from international hockey

Chandigarh, September 12: Indian hockey’s most famous face over the last decade and arguably among the most popular Sardar Singh called time on his long and illustrious career on Wednesday.

The former India captain announced his retirement from international hockey. Having represented India for 12 years, Sardar said he had played “enough hockey” and it was time to move on.

“Yes, I have decided to retire from international hockey. Twelve years is a long time,” Sardar told.

“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 said.

Sardar’s announcement came after Hockey India announced the 25-member core group for the national camp, which did not include the 32-year-old’s name.

Sardar refused to comment whether the snub was the reason behind his decision.

Sardar, who made his international debut in 2006, became the captain in 2008 — the youngest in the history of Indian hockey. He held that position for eight long years. At the peak of his popularity, he was being considered as one of the greatest Indian hockey players ever.

But just like many top players before him, Sardar also overstayed his welcome.

His retirement had become a publicised issue over the last two years, with many expecting him to quit after making his second appearance at the Olympics — in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

By excluding Sardar from the core group so close to the World Cup, the federation and the management made their intentions clear that the veteran midfielder was no longer a part of their plans. It might have proved to be the nudge to call it a day.

Source Tribune India

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