Bringing another laurel to Indian hockey, India Men Hockey Team captain Sardar Singh as well as the former captain for the India Women Team, Saba Anjum today received the fourth highest civilian award of India– Padma Shri Award – by the Government of India. Join us in congratulating them for the Padma Shri Awards.
Sardar Singh, the captain of Indian Men’s Hockey Team, received the award from the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi today. Sardar Singh and co along with Indian Women Hockey team were felicitated by Hockey India on Saturday at a grand ceremony “Hockey India Annual Awards” for their achievements in 2014.
A delighted and proud Captain Sardar Singh said, “It is a great honour for me and I would take this opportunity to thank Hockey India for giving me the support which boosted my morale. Also, I must give credit of my success to the coaches, who have guided me and tirelessly worked with me during my journey in hockey. I am proud to have been received this award and will work harder to get more laurels for Indian Hockey.”
Under the leadership of skipper Sardar Sardar, Indian Men Hockey team is gearing up to take on five international challengers in the much awaited 24th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, scheduled to take place from 5th April – 12th April 2015 in Ipoh, Malaysia.
Speaking on the team, Indian Captain Sardar Singh said, “The team is motivated post the Champions Trophy 2014, where we beat the top teams that are ranked higher than us. While we stood fourth in the tournament, there were stronger teams that finished lower in the tournament.”
Talking on the upcoming challenge, he further added, “With Satbir and Mandeep in the team, our attack gets a good boost and with Chinglensana in addition will help strengthen our midfield. The upcoming tour will be tough but the boys are confident enough and we are looking forward to meeting Australia in the final.”
Congratulating both of them, Dr. Narinder Dhruv Batra, President, Hockey India said, “Hockey India is delighted and proud of both Sardar Singh and Saba Anjum for being conferred with the Padma Shri Award today. Sardar has been contributing selflessly to the national team and Indian Hockey since he started playing for the country and under his leadership India won the Gold at the Asian Games last year. Hockey India also congratulates Saba being who was one of the most prominent forward players in the world of Hockey and seeing her play on the field. Hockey India takes pride in congratulating both of them on this auspicious day.”
A very delighted Saba Anjum said, “I am honoured to receive this prestigious award from the President of India. I take this opportunity to thank Hockey India and the Government of India for recognising my efforts and hard work. I would like to thank my Coaches, teammates and my family for my success and achievements in my journey.”
Both Sardar as well as Saba Anjum were even conferred with the Arjuna Award in 2012 and 2013 respectively. Both the awardees have to their credit of brining laurels to the country for their contribution on the field and even guiding their teams to victories.
The 28-year-old midfielder Sardar has played a pivotal role for India and his skilful game which has even inspired the new generation of hockey players across the world. Sardar made his debut for the senior team against Pakistan in 2006 and since then he has played more than 200 international matches and has successfully contributed towards Indian hockey. Sardar is also the most sought player in the prestigious Hockey India League.
Saba on the other hand was one of the most prominent forwards and represented India during the Asian Games in 2002, Asia Cup in 2004 (Gold Medal), Commonwealth Games in 2002 (Gold Medal) and 2006, and Junior World Cup in 2001. Saba even had been conferred with the Chhattisgarh’s top Gundadhur sports award for bring honour to her state in the field of sports.
Sardar was appointed as the captain of the Indian hockey team in 2008 for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup at the age of 22 years where India finished 2nd in the tournament and bagged the Silver medal. In 2010, Sardar Singh was nominated for the FIH All-Star team being the sole Indian to get the honour and a feat that was repeated again in 2012. In 2014, Sardar led India to a Silver medal finish in the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Glasgow and in the same year, Sardar steered his team to win the Incheon Asian Games Gold beating Pakistan in a highly-tensed finale and this feat of winning the Gold was achieved by the Indian team after 16 years. In the same year the India Hockey Team even beat Australia in a Test Series at home and also finished at a respectable fourth position in the Hero Men’s Champions Trophy 2014.
In the 15 year-long international career, Saba has to her credit of being a part of the team which won Gold Medals at 2002 Commonwealth Games and 2004 Asia Cup, also a bronze at 2006 Doha Asian Games. She is also known for striking six goals including the winning one in the final of Shastri Cup 2007 and went on to being the player of the tournament in the series.