New Delhi, 15 November 2019: Hockey India on Friday congratulated former India Skipper Sandeep Singh on being named as the sports minister of Haryana after he turned out for the BJP in the recent state assembly elections and won from Pehowa seat. He took oath as a Minister of the State on Thursday and was named sports minister earlier today.
Sandeep Singh has been an inspiration par excellence in field hockey and has overcome personal struggles and a life-threatening injury only to return to the hockey pitch, winning several accolades for the country. He made his international debut in 2004 at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup and his mercurial rise as India's ace drag flicker saw him ascend to the Captain's role in 2009.
Under his captaincy, the Indian team clinched the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in 2009 defeating hosts Malaysia - a feat India achieved after 13 years of wait. He was the recipient of the Arjuna Award in 2010.
"I highly commend Sandeep Singh's commitment towards sports. He was a huge inspiration to thousands of aspiring hockey players in the country and many have followed his footsteps. He was among the best drag flickers in the world and he led the Indian national team from the front. On behalf of Hockey India, I wish him the very best as he takes charge as the sports minister of Haryana. Under his leadership, I am sure he will improve sports at the grassroots and make Haryana a flourishing state in sports. We look forward to working with him to develop hockey in that region," stated Md. Mushtaque Ahmad, President, Hockey India.
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In 2017, when Vishal Antil, a talented attacking midfielder, came into the Junior National Coaching Camp in SAI, Bengaluru, he would closely observe his Senior compatriot Sardar Singh who trained at the same campus. The former India Captain's discipline, his focus on the game and professionalism made Antil look up to him. "You didn't really have to interact with him to learn but just watch him go about his everyday routine. He was so disciplined and focused, he never let outside factors affect him mentally and he always took care of his body. The lights in his room would be switched off at 9.30 PM everyday, these are qualities of a great player," recalled Antil of his idol.