The Indian hockey team on Sunday lauded stalwart midfielder Sardar Singh on completing 300 international caps for India. The 31-year-old Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awardee from Haryana achieved this milestone during India’s second round robin match against Olympic Champions Argentina at the on-going Men’s Hockey Champions Trophy in Breda in Netherlands on Sunday.
"It is really a proud moment for me. It seems like life has completed a full circle as I had started my career under Harendra Singh, who was my coach in the junior Indian team and now when I play my 300th match he is coaching for the senior side." - Sardar Singh
“I thank my teammates for their support and inspiration. We work as one family to achieve our goals and targets. At this point in my career, I am enjoying the pressure of wanting to prove myself again and have paid a lot of attention to my fitness,” added Sardar.
As tributes kept pouring on Twitter for the star midfielder, the Indian team had their own plans for the veteran player.
Great effort from the team and a wonderful milestone memory for @imsardarsingh8 ..... more matches coming ahead boys .. #ChampionsTrophy2018 #india vs Argentina #2-1 #Breda #Holland pic.twitter.com/y7QmuYAURT— sreejesh p r (@16Sreejesh) June 24, 2018
300 caps for @imsardarsingh8 today against Argentina. Huge milestone for the real legend and role model! Thank you for all your guidance - wishing you more & more success Paji ?? pic.twitter.com/v5q7Ti70bV— Manpreet Singh (@manpreetpawar07) June 24, 2018
All set for his 300th cap for #TeamIndia. Huge milestone for the legendary @imsardarsingh8 ??— Rupinder Pal Singh (@rupinderbob3) June 24, 2018
All the best paaji. Wish you all the success. Good luck to you and the team for today’s game! #INDvARG #HCT2018 pic.twitter.com/aJvyKs1p6z
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 Summer 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.
His long list of achievements for the Indian team include silver medal at the 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games, two Asia Cup Gold (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. He was conferred with the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 2017 and was earlier awarded the Padma Shri in 2015.
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