'In the best and worst of times, Sardar Singh has exemplified steely determination. His qualities and dedication as a player makes him a true ambassador of the game.'
As stalwart midfielder Sardar Singh called time on his illustrious International career, Hockey India on Friday congratulated the 32-year-old Khel Ratna awardee on his long-serving career that spanned over 12 years.
Calling him a true ambassador of the game, Rajinder Singh, president, Hockey India said, "In the best and worst of times, Sardar Singh has exemplified steely determination. His qualities and dedication as a player makes 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. 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 endeavors."
Sardar Singh who made his decision to retire known to Hockey India on Wednesday evening through a formal letter, announced the same on Thursday through a press conference at Chandigarh.
The legendary player has been part of India's important feats in the past decade, having won silver medal at the 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games, two Asia Cup gold medals (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 and then took the bronze at the 18th Asian Games recently.
From Sant Nagar in Sirsa, Haryana, Sardar born to a humble farmer’s family 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.
Sardar 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.