Former India hockey captain Sardar Singh has credited cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar for his comeback in the national team after the Commonwealth Games snub earlier this year.
On Wednesday (September 12) Sardar decided to call time on his illustrious career, saying he had played enough in the last 12 years and now it's time for the youngsters to take over.
“Sachin paaji has been an inspiration for me. He helped me a lot in the last 3-4 months, which were tough,” Sardar was quoted as saying by PTI.
“There has never been an occasion when he didn’t answer my call. After I was dropped from the CWG squad, I was very low and called Sachin paaji and asked him what he used to do when he scored 0."
“He counseled me for close to 20 minutes and advised me to forget about criticisms and stay motivated and focused. He told me to analyze my old videos, play my natural hockey and it helped me in bouncing back,” he added.
Sardar played hockey like a true champion and hangs his stick after 314 international caps. He led India to Asian Games gold in 2014 at Incheon besides two bronze medals in 2010 and 2018. He won two Commonwealth Games silver, a historic silver in the Champions Trophy (2018 Breda), two Asia Cup titles and numerous other trophies.
At 32, Sardar leaves a rich legacy for the budding Hockey players. Having led India for eight years, he passed the baton to PR Sreejesh in 2016. Sardar Singh was a talismanic midfielder and his fitness is an example for the sportsmen of all areas.
(With Inputs from PTI)