Former India hockey captain Sardar Singh announced his retirement on Wednesday. The announcement came soon after Hockey India dropped his name from a list of 25-man probables for the upcoming national camp.
Sardar, 32, said he made the decision after a disappointing Asian Games where India failed to defend its title and returned with a bronze medal. The celebrated centre-half has been under the scanner in the recent times.
"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," Sardar told PTI.
Sardar also reportedly said that he will formally announce his retirement during a press conference in the national capital on Friday.
Sardar was not included in the 25-man probables list announced today. The camp will begin from September 16 at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium, Bhubaneswar.
The camp, which includes a month-long training, will conclude on October 14 ahead of the ten-day Asian Champions Trophy, where the Indian side will go as defending champions.
In 2008, he became the youngest player to captain India by leading the national team in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.
In a career spanning more than a decade, the Haryana player has won three Asian Games medals, including a gold; three Asia Cup medals, including two golds; and a Champions Trophy silver medal.
He made 300 international appearances for India, scoring 16 goals. He was awarded Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award of India, in 2015.
25-man probables list:
Goalkeepers - PR Sreejesh, Suraj Karkera, Krishan Bahadur Pathak;
Defenders - Harmanpreet Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh, Gurinder Singh, Varun Kumar, Kothajit Khadangbam, Surender Kumar, Jarmanpreet Singh, Pardeep Singh;
Midfielders - Manpreet Singh, Chinglensana Kangujam, Sumit, Simranjit Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Hardik Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Vivek Sagar Prasad;
Forwards - S V Sunil, Akashdeep Singh, Gurjant Singh, Mandeep Singh, Dilpreet Singh, Sumit Kumar