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Former India captain Sardar Singh announces retirement from international hockey

Sardar Singh said he made the decision after a disappointing Asian Games where India failed to defend its title and returned with a bronze medal.

Former India Hockey captain Sardar Singh on Wednesday announced his retirement from international hockey after an illustrious career spanning 12 years. Speaking to news agency PTI, the 32-year-old said he made the decision to call time on his career after a disappointing Asian Games in which India finished with a bronze medal. “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 said.

“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’s decision came on the same day his name was excluded from the 25-strong core group of national campers announced by the Hockey India. Earlier, during the Asian Games in Jakarta, the star midfielder had expressed desires to play one last Olympics in 2020 Tokyo.

On being questioned about his exclusion from the camp, Sardar skipped the question and said he would formally announce his retirement during a press conference in New Delhi on Friday.

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Sardar Singh made his senior debut for India against Pakistan in 2006 and since then he has been a vital cog in the Indian team’s midfield. The 32-year-old made over 350 international appearances for India and captained the national team for eight long years from 2008 to 2016 before handing the responsibility to PR Sreejesh.

He was also the youngest player to captain the Indian team 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 two times at the Olympics.

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